Eight young goalkeepers representing various clubs from Dubai have been going through an intensive training programme being held under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) at the National Training Centre in Coverciano, Italy.
The ten-day programme that is scheduled to last until July 20 is being organised by Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC), the governing body for Italian football in coordination with the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) under its ‘Future Goalkeeper Programme’.
Visiting the UAE squad at the specialised training camp was a delegation from the DSC that included Ahmad Salem Al Muhairi, head of the programme along with technical expert Nasser Khamis. They were received and shown around by Enrico De Marchi, Deputy Chairman, National Training Centre.
FIGC coaches Gaetano and Gianmario Petrelli have been putting the goalkeepers and a few goalkeeper coaches through their paces during two sessions every day. As per rules laid down by UAE Football Association (UAE FA), clubs are allowed to recruit four foreign professional footballers but none of these can be goalkeepers.
The ‘Future Goalkeeper Programme’ has this time selected eight young goalkeepers under-17 years to make the trip to Italy. “The programme is part of the Dubai Sports Council’s strategic plan that targets the grass roots sector that in the long run will fulfil the aspirations of the UAE,” Al Muhairi told Gulf News.
“We want our young goalkeepers to gain knowledge on this highly-specialised art of goalkeeping at the right age. Such sort of specialised training gains even more significance as the UAE FA does not allow professional goalkeepers to be recruited for the league,” he added.
Those selected to undergo the programme this year are Suhail Abdullah Al Matawa, Rashid Jasim Ali, Ali Eisa Al Ka’abi, Abdullah Khalifa Al Ka’abi, Ali Hassan Al Ghallaf, Khalid Ebrahim Al Jasmi, Mansour Abdullah Al Za’abi and Abdullah Tareq Fairooz.