Frederic Kanoute’s KAFO Academy kick starts in January

Denzil Pinto 14/12/2014
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Join the fun: KAFO Academy's new session starts in January.

With the year coming to an end, Frederic Kanoute’s KAFO Academy is now accepting registrations for its new term in January.

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– Ahdaaf clinch Michel Salgado 24-hour football tournament in Dubai

And those signing up for the first time will not only receive a free training kit but a chance to take part in a free 30-minute shooting clinic with the former African Player of the Year.

The 37-year-old knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level, picking up two UEFA Cups and Copa del Reys with Sevilla in a career that saw him play for clubs like Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham, Lyon and China’s Beijing Guoan.

Kanoute has seen his academy rise to one of the popular football coaching centres in Dubai since launching earlier this year. 

Designed for players aged between five and 15, the course is run over 10 weeks over three afternoons or evenings and provides the opportunity to represent the academy in competitive leagues and tournaments.

Each session lasts 90 minutes and children under the guidance of qualified coaches follow a particular curriculum where they can develop their passing, shooting and dribbling skills as well as dealing with ball manipulation and phases of play.

The academy just launched the KAFO Little Kicks, a new programme aimed for three to five-year-olds. The class runs from Saturday mornings from 09:15 to 10:00 at Nord Anglia International School (NAS), Hessa Street, Dubai. 

Start early: kids as young as three can learn the basics of football at Frederic Kanoute's academy.

“It’s really important to keep the children happy and comfortable with the ball on their feet,” said Kanoute.

“We will start with small games and at this age (three to five) it’s important the children enjoy it. We will help them to get used to the ball, run with the ball  and shoot and pass, and help them learn the basic rules of the game.”

With Kanoute also involved in coaching the children, he and his team will ensure it’s a challenging, fun and positive learning experience for all.

Kanoute said: “We do 90 minute sessions because that gives a lot of time for the children to learn and play the game. We have a good structure in place and I can bring a lot. I have hands on experience and I really have a clear vision that I want to achieve at the academy. 

"The feedback from the children and parents has been positive and that brings a lot of confidence.”

Sessions are held at two venues; NAS and American University Sharjah.

The academy offers up to three 90 minute training sessions per week at each venue that equates to Dh100 per class (based on the 10 week programme). There is also a special 20 per cent discount for siblings.

What: KAFO Academy’s football training programmes
Where: Nord Anglia International School (NAS), Hessa Street, Dubai. American University Sharjah (AUS), University City, Sharjah.
When: NAS: Sunday to Tuesday (17:15 – 18:45) and Friday (09:30 – 11:00); KAFO Little Kicks; Saturday (09:15 – 10:00). AUS: Tuesday, Thursday (16:00 – 17:30) and Friday (09:30 – 11:00).
Contact: For more information or to sign up visit www.kafoacademy.com or www.facebook.com/kafoacademy

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Ahdaaf clinch Michel Salgado 24-hour football tournament in Dubai

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Big winners: The Ahdaaf team.

Ahdaaf Sports Club have been crowned inaugural champions of the gruelling Chevrolet Michel Salgado 24 Hour Football Tournament after heading off the spirited challenge of Umai.

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The event at Dubai Sport City saw more than 300 players in 24 teams compete for glory from Thursday 20:00 to Friday 21:30, with Real Madrid legend Michel Salgado on hand to offer expert advice.

The competition was the first of its kind in the UAE, testing both the ability and endurance of the 14-man squads to breaking point.

Ahdaaf managed to emerge victorious in the seven-a-side competition at The Dome, collecting Dh20,000 in prize money for conquering the ‘Win or Die’ challenge.

“It is a special event,” said Chevrolet Regional Brand Ambassador Salgado, the tough-tackling defender who spent a trophy-filled decade at the Bernabeu.

“I wanted to do something new in Dubai, with a special feeling for me.

“We used to play big tournaments when I was young in Spain. The tournament is about playing everywhere, expressing yourself and showing what we can bring to the community in Dubai.

“It is not a normal tournament, I wanted to make it something really different in the Middle East. The experience and experiment is really good. I am really proud of it.”

The competition was designed as a means to promote involvement and sportsmanship in the UAE. Salgado, 39, was proud of what he and Chevrolet had achieved.

He said: “I have so many things to say about it. The main thing is that I have been working together with Chevrolet for the last year and I feel we speak the same language about football and life.

“Football means a lot, it is education for the kids through the values of sport. For teenagers, it gives hope and a way out from really bad things.

“Football is about suffering, smiling, celebrating and crying. It is about emotions.

“Those emotions are something myself and Chevrolet want to share with the people, all the fans and the millions of people who play football everywhere at anytime.”

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Fazza complete the perfect season with victory at Emirates Airline XCAT GP

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Strong challengers: The Fazza duo of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi were deserved winners in Dubai on Saturday.

The overall series may have already been secured, but the Fazza pair of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi simply couldn’t resist that top step of the podium at the Emirates Airline XCAT GP on Saturday afternoon. 

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Fazza had to stave off a tough challenge from Dubai 7 (Salem Al Adidi and Jay Price), who's impressive start saw them finish in second place. 

Meanwhile, completing the podium for Saturday’s event was the Italian Videx team of Alfredo Amato and Marco Pennesi – their first top-three performance of the season.

“It was very good – especially with trying the new engines this weekend to see if we could complete the race and thank God we did,” said Bin Hendi afterwards.

“This is a new start for these new engines and we are very happy to have won this race As for the chances of completing a clean sweep of all the races in the 2015 Series. We are going to try our best."

Price, however, was thrilled with his and Al Adidi’s performance.

“It started off a little rough on testing and qualifying but we figured out the problems and I think from the Speed Cat Run yesterday we really were running very well.

“Our biggest concern was the start. Starting in eighth is not a good spot. But we fought through that and probably came out in a good fifth or sixth position in the first lap. We had to really fly the boat to make sure we got the acceleration on the other drivers and we picked them off one by one.

“For me this is the most exciting racing. You don’t just win from the front – you fight from the back and earn every position. This is for me the ultimate in racing – when you really have to battle and push to the limit. I mean we lost control of the boat in the air quite a few times but we couldn’t back off,” added Price.

Also celebrating a great performance for the day were the Mouawad team of Joakim Kumlin and Gary Ballough who managed a fourth place finish in today’s Emirates Airline XCAT GP. 

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