10 Sep 2023

Aspire Academy and the Qatar Football Association (QFA) have signed a memorandum of collaboration as the two organisations bid to further boost the development of coaches. 

The Academy and the QFA already have a close working relationship in many areas including coaching with Aspire providing the staff, venue and material for the performance module for those undertaking the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) coaching licences.

The latest AFC course at Aspire Academy concluded on Sunday as 10 current professional players undertook the first steps in coaching with the A and B Licence courses. 

The agreement which will build on this cooperation was signed by Mr Mansour Al Ansari, Secretary General of the QFA and Mr Ivan Bravo, Director General of the Aspire Academy.

As well as the performance part of the game Aspire and the QFA now aim to share knowledge in other areas such as physical fitness, performance, nutrition, biomechanics, physiology, psychology and recovery.

Mr Ivan Bravo hailed the collaboration and pointed out that good coaching is essential to successful football.

“This collaboration is unique in the world of football, two organisations that are really leading in a very beneficial way with coaching development,” he said at the signing on Monday.

“How coaching can be improved in the AFC is the key to progress and success in football.”

“There is already a merger that has been working between Aspire Academy and QFA for all coaches who are doing their licences all the way to the highest level of coaching in the AFC which is AFC Pro.”
“We have a component that is just second to none in terms of quality and knowledge and expertise for the physical and performance component of their coaching.”  

Mr Fahd Thani Al-Zaraa, Director of Football Development Department of the QFA says this latest collaboration with Aspire Academy is key to the continued evolution of the sport in Qatar.

“The cooperation agreement with Aspire Academy is one of the essential agreements that is central to the work plans of the Football Development Department and its continual endeavour to constantly enhance and modernize the football system in local clubs,” he said. 

“The importance of the agreement is that it includes several provisions, perhaps the most important of which is the exchange of knowledge and experiences.” 

“Aspire Academy is the best place to learn about football player fitness, psychology, kinesiology, nutrition, recuperation, physiology, and more because they focus on the science of sports.”

Those thoughts were backed up by several of the players who have just completed the performance module on the A and B Licence course.

The course included several theory sections as well as some practical sessions including ones that highlighted the benefits that video technology can offer in different areas including techniques for taking free kicks. 

Another practical session saw the players using Aspire Academy’s Ice Blue hydrotherapy pools as they learned how water can help with recovery after matches.

Valter Di Salvo Director of Football Performance and Science pointed out that: “Physical conditioning in football is a key component of success.”

“Aspire Academy is honoured to support football coaches during their AFC Licence providing the  Performance Modules curriculum which is delivered by top experts at our state-of-the-art facility."

Among those on this latest course was Qatar international Ahmed Abdelmaqsoud, who was full of praise for the course.

“The lecturers were of the highest level, and the good thing is that they were once on the pitch they were not just academics,” the Al Wakrah midfielder said.

Former Qatar international Rodrigo Tabata said that he had learnt a lot on the course. 

“They have great facilities here, the coaches are very professional, they bring a lot of wisdom and quality to the table, and we're learning a lot from them,” he said. 

Mohamed Diame, who spent 10 years playing in England and is a former Senegal international, was impressed with the technology available at Aspire Academy.

“We saw from the first lesson, with the dead ball tactics and all the screens, cameras and technology to help us, we haven’t seen anything like it outside of this facility,” he explained.

“The fact that the youngsters have access to it means that they will save a lot of time and progress very quickly much quicker than we would have done.”

Aspire graduate Almahdi Ali was happy to return to the Academy and commended the existing partnership with the QFA.

“The course was great thanks to the QFA and to Aspire Academy, which is my home, with these great facilities and great staff,” he said.

“As a footballer, it is great to take this first step in coaching and we will now take it step by step.”

“It is great to get new information especially, from experienced coaches and people who have been involved in coaching for a long time so it’s a start and a great opportunity.”

This was the third time that Aspire Academy has provided the performance module for an AFC Coaching course, having done so in 2021.

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