DOHA: The Chief Executive Officer of the Football Association of Wales (FAW) Trust, Neil Ward, and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Peter Lee OBE, toured Aspire Academy recently as the Welsh U-15 National team participated in the Aspire Academy’s Tri-series football competition.
The FAW Trust delegation met Aspire Academy Director General Ivan Bravo, during their visit, discussing areas of mutual cooperation, such as coach education and development exchange programs.
Speaking after the tour, Ward said: “Aspire Academy is impressive and boasts state of the art infrastructure. It is an ideal place for nurturing and developing sports talent. The philosophy behind the education and sports programmes here is world class and speaks of the country’s aim to enhance sport and develop top athletes for the future. Like Qatar, Wales is a small nation with a small population. However, when well thought-out plans and sports development programmes are put in place, success can be achieved. From what l have seen here, l am optimistic for this country’s future and believe Qatar is on track to become a force to reckoned with in sport. Aspire Academy is central to these goals.”
Lee OBE, Chair of the Football Association Wales Board of Trustees, added: “I am confident that Qatar will organise and host a successful 2022 FIFA World Cup after what l have seen of the local approach to sports development. The Welsh U-15 National team is delighted to be invited to play in the Tri-Series competition and, just like the people in Qatar, we in Wales believe that the strength and future of any football team is related to the work done in its football academies. It is phenomenal that, whereas elsewhere in the world, football academies are the breeding ground for clubs, here Aspire is doing that for the whole nation of Qatar. This is a fantastic approach that will produce results.”
The Wales U-15 National team finished second best in both its matches against Ajax Academy and Aspire Academy. According to FAW Technical Director, Osian Roberts, this was because both the Aspire and Ajax teams had time to train together in the run up to the competition, whereas the Welsh team had only just assembled from their respective clubs. Roberts added: “It has been a good opportunity to measure our progress and face teams that we do not play against normally. This can only make us better, helping us to assess where we are as a team and where we aim to be. The boys will be disappointed but will learn from the experience and it has been good to participate in the competition. We are grateful to have been invited by Aspire Academy.” -- Press release