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Northern Emirates sides qualify for semi-finals

Second season of du Football Champions kicks off in Al Hamriya

Gulf News

Sharjah: The du Football Champions, UAE Schools Cup teams battled it out on the pitches of Al Hamriya Football Club last weekend to secure their spots in the national semi-finals which will be held in Dubai on March 11.

With winning teams getting the chance to travel to Spain and England in April and the opportunity for top talents to get scouted into the du La Liga High Performance Centre, the young boys and girls from schools across the Northern Emirates pulled out all the stops to make it to the next stage of the competition.

Al Maarifa International Private School and Sharjah American International School made it through in the boys U16 category. Al Zuhour School and International School of Choueifat Sharjah qualified for the boys U14s, while Al Maarifa International Private School and Al Shifa Sun School qualified in the girl’s category.

In the Streets Cup teams progressing to the next round are; The Avengers, The Professional Academy, Future Makers, First Kick and Team Adnan.

Stand out players were Alaa Mohammad, Abdullah Osama, Khalifa Sembaij, Arman Jafari, Bashar Zain, Majid Khalid, Mohammad Bashir and Ahmad Al Sharqi.

Al Maarifa U16 coach Mustafa Ramadan said: “We played in this tournament last year and it was a fantastic experience for our team, and we are motivated to take the cup home this year.

“The young boys are committed and focus on the end prize and we have been training for weeks. I am very proud of them and we look forward to the knockouts.”

Hassan Ali, a player from Al Zuhour, added: “It was a very tough day for us — we played three matches and each time the opponents were stronger and stronger, but we were determined and worked as a team. I am so happy to make it to the semi-finals.”

Raphael Gonzalez, La Liga scout said, “There are some very strong players in the Northern Emirates. We are impressed with the skills we have seen here and it will be a tough decision to pick the top players from this region.”

With teams from Abu Dhabi and Dubai completing their registrations for kick on January 14 and February 11, respectively, the du Football Champions platform has reached an unprecedented amount of youth across the nation enabling youth footballers to pursue their aspirations of pro-football career.