The Under 16 Finals of Emirates Islamic National School League Football were played at the Sevens Stadium and what a set of games it was. LFI Georges Pompidou were in the hunt for title retention while the boys from Al Ain and Dubai looked to take their crown.
DESC were rampant in the section introduced for the first time this season, even making NSL kings Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou look ordinary as the French school were brushed aside in Saturday’s final 3-1.
DESC had been one of the standout teams during the group stages and met little opposition as they made their way to the final at The Sevens, completing a dream NSL debut by lifting the trophy.
Terry has been so impressed with the organisation of the tournament that he hopes the school send older age grade teams to fight for glory on three fronts next season.
“I hope so,” replied Barratt when asked if the team would defend their title next season.
“The boys have had a great time. It’s well organised and the kids love the media coverage. I’m sure we’ll be back to defend our title and hopefully we’ll bring a few of the other age groups too and look for those titles, because at DESC we’re really passionate about football and sport in general.
“It’s something we take quite seriously, competing in every competition we can.”
DESC stormed into an early 2-0 lead in the final, pocket rocket Luis Dunn opening the scoring after beating LFI goalkeeper Cyprien Girod at his near post with a low drive before James Aubrey doubled their advantage seconds later.
LFI reduced the deficit early in the second half when Badis Zerguerras prodded in after stopper Nathan Westie only partially dealt with a corner, but DESC snuffed out any hope of a comeback when Leo Mulrainy blasted home after Dunn had been thwarted by Girod following a mazy run.
And Barratt singled out his star playmaker Dunn for special praise.
“He’s a fantastic player,” said Barratt. Even in the DASSA (Dubai Affiliated School Sport Association) Leagues we play in he comes up against some big rugby boys but he shields the ball really well and he’s a fantastic little player.
“He’s got fantastic feet and can finish. Just like Messi he shows you don’t have to be big to play. He certainly showed it today.
“We started really well and it went 2-0 but then they got back to 2-1 and it made it a good game. It was feisty and there was a good tempo.
“We said (at 2-1) the next goal was crucial and little Luis has managed to score it and it calmed us down and took the sting out of the game and then we finished the game off well.”
Being so young and playing in a new competition, in front of a big crowd, might well have been intimidating, but Barratt had no such concerns.
He added: “One thing we talk about is having the confidence. They knew they were being tested and knew they were in for a game, but all the time they know they have the ability.
“They knew if they played the way they know they can they’d probably get the result, which they have done. They played some excellent football today. It’s nice to see them play with a smile on their faces and I’m ecstatic with them today.”
With LFI Pompidou looking to retain their Under 14’s Emirates Islamic National School League Football title the soccer action at the Sevens Stadium Dubai was non stop.