16 Aug 2022

Aspire Academy has welcomed back its footballers and their coaches ahead of the new season.

Almost all our football program student-athletes are currently on training camps in Europe.

The youngest generations are in Romania until 20 August and will return or the start of the new term a day later.

The under-17 and under-20’s are both preparing for upcoming qualifying events for their respective Asian Cups next year and as part of those preparations both squads are in Slovenia for a two-week training camp which is set to end on 29 August.

Aspire Academy’s Technical Director for Football, Edorta Murua said: “We are pleased to have out student-athletes back for a special yet challenging season.

“Now that many of the Covid-19 restrictions have been eased, we decided to kick off our pre-season preparation with an intensive summer training camp in both Slovenia and Romania.

“There is also lots of hard work to be done on the pitch with the Qatar under-17 and under-20 national teams involved in qualifying events for their respective AFC Asian Cups next year.

“We are also looking forward to the long-awaited FIFA World Cup 2022 here in Qatar which we hope will inspire our student-athletes and show them what is achievable with determination and making the most of the facilities and coaching available to them.”

Murua’s sentiments were echoed by Sociologist Juan Pablo Morales and Lead Football Scout and Analyst Luciano Canepa.

“The players are excited to be back and so are the coaches we are all looking forward to a more ‘normal’ season now Covid-19 restrictions seem to be easing,” Morales said.

“It is not just the football we are looking forward to but also being able to socialize away from the pitch.”

The next few months also promise to be unique with the World Cup coming to town in November and December.

“We are all proud to be part of World Cup history as the first middle-east nation to host the tournament,” Canepa added.

“Again, it is not just about the football on the pitch but also the fact that Doha will be welcoming fans from all over the world too.”

The fact that so many of the Qatar squad for the tournament are Aspire Academy graduates will be a source of motivation for the current players at the academy.

“Of course, playing at the World Cup shows our youngsters what is possible with hard work,” Morales explained.

“Getting to play at international level is not an easy process it is very demanding and competitive. One of the key things we tell our youngsters is ask questions and look for ways to improve.

“We also face the challenge of not confusing the present and the future – we focus very much on the present and what the players are working on and not too much on what the future holds for them.”

The coaches have two important tournaments coming up as the under-17 and under-20 teams aim to qualify for their respective Asia Cups next year.

The Qatar under-20 team will play in a five-team group in Bahrain in September where they will face the hosts as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

The under-17’s travel to Oman in October for their qualifying group and will play the hosts as well as Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain.

Only the winners of each group are guaranteed a place in the finals with the under-20 even being played in Uzbekistan while a host has yet to be chosen for the under-17 tournament.

Morales says these qualifying events provide the ideal way of measuring the progress the players and coaches are making.

“For us as coaches these tournaments are a mirror which reflects the work that we have put in and shows us how successful we have been,” he explained.

The under-17’s are looking for a 12th qualification to the finals but their first since 2014 having missed the last two editions.

The under-20’s are aiming to qualify for the second time, having missed out on playing at the 2020 finals after they were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both Asian Cups also act as qualifiers for next year’s under-20 and under-17 World Cups. 

Previous News


Aspire Academy student-athlete Mahamat Abakar Abdrahman set a new personal best for the 400m hurdles at the World Under-20 Athletics Championships in...

08 Aug 2022 Read More..

Past and present Aspire Academy student-athletes won all six of the gold medals that Qatar claimed at the recent West Asia Junior Table Tennis Championships in...

04 Aug 2022 Read More..

Latest News