Avram Grant with Dubai Sports Council's Saeed Hareb
Avram Grant with Dubai Sports Council's Saeed Hareb Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Avram Grant, the former Chelsea and Israel coach, will kick-off Dubai Sports Council’s development programme for professional players in Dubai with a lecture at Hatta Club on February 23.

Grant, who has also managed the Ghana national team and English Premier League clubs Portsmouth and West Ham United, is taking part in the programme as a senior lecturer and he will conduct two talks at Hatta Club on Tuesday — the first for elite youth players and the second for the senior players of Hatta FC.

He will host similar sessions at Dubai’s other three football clubs — Al Nasr, Al Wasl and Shabab Al Ahli Dubai — in the coming days.

Approved by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, the programme, which is being organised under the slogan ‘Your career is your future’, is an important addition to DSC’s efforts to develop players and the coaching staff at Dubai football and sports clubs.

The programme aims to enhance the professional status and awareness of players on the roles of Dubai’s four football clubs by involving all players in corporate social responsibility programmes as well as promotional events for sponsors and products. The player engagement will lead to a positive growth in the fan base of clubs, as well as greater exposure for their corporate partners, and consequently an increase in revenues.

The program also seeks to educate players on lifestyle changes that would enhance their status as professionals. It will involve more than 200 football players playing for the first and Under-21 teams of Dubai’s clubs, as well as elite players from the 14 to 19 age group.

The programme will include workshops and courses and special classes for overseas professionals to introduce them to the culture and history of UAE, and teach them the Arabic language.

Having worked in one of the biggest professional football leagues in the world, as well as in countries such as Israel, Serbia, Thailand and Ghana, Grant will bring nearly 50 years of football coaching experience to the programme.

Grant agreed to participate in the program during his visit to DSC in November, when he met Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of DSC, and Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of the Council.

Grant, who started his coaching career at the age 18 as a youth coach of his hometown team Hapoel Petah Tikva in Israel in 1972, had expressed his admiration for the UAE, and the development taking place here, and expressed his keenness to share his vast experience for the betterment of football in Dubai and UAE.