Aspire Academy does not accept registrations for full-time student athletes. They are only selected through a nationwide Talent Identification Program, as further explained in this section.

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    In finding the potential players for the Academy and Qatar national youth teams, the Aspire scouts attend QFA matches, government and school football competitions and the Olympic Schools Programme. Each year, more than 4,000 players aged 8 to 18 appear on the radar of Aspire’s scouts and coaches. Thanks to the six football talent centre run by Aspire Academy in Qatar, talented boys can be spotted when they have reached just five years of age. Before being able to join the Academy at 12, we try to gather the best players in our Feeder Teams (U9, U10, U11, U12), where they have the chance to train at Aspire Academy and play in local international tournaments.

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    Talent ID

    In order to promote sports among kids, Aspire Academy started the Multi-Sport-Skills Development (MSSD) programme to provide boys and girls (ages 7-12) the opportunity to learn and develop fundamental movement skills which will help them to improve their sporting performance and set them on the pathway to sporting success. A professional coaching team delivers free coaching sessions at a number of venues across Qatar. Each child will attend at least two sessions per week, with many being invited to additional coaching sessions and activities. There is also a competition programme, which offers the opportunity for young people to compare performance with those from other parts of the country. Our Talent Scouts and coaches follow the development of these kids from an early stage on. Talented boys might later become candidates for a scholarship at Aspire Academy, girls might move on to respective sports federations.

  • Football Selection

    Playing for Aspire Academy’s Feeder Teams is already a big step towards a scholarship. During that time, the young players are under constant assessment, they undergo tests with our Sport Science Team and coaches constantly discuss their development. This is an on-going process and at the end of this evaluation the people in charge decide if a player has enough potential to join the Academy. Other players, who might be selected from Aspire Academy, are referred to by the Scouting Department or the Qatar Football Association.

  • Sports Selection

    Our Talent Identification (TID) Programme is a nationwide initiative that works in close coordination with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Qatar National Olympic Committee and the Supreme Education Council (SEC). Our primary goal is to find male students within Qatar Government schools that exhibit exceptional athletic talent and offer them a student-athlete scholarship within Aspire Academy. In a three-phase process (Bronze, Silver and Gold phase), Aspire conducts testing of approximately 3,000 Grade 6 students in schools (Bronze phase) and at Aspire (Silver and Gold phase) every year. In addition, some boys are nominated for the “Silver phase” by the respective Qatari sports federation. The final Phase, the “Gold Camp”, consists of a two-day mini-camp at the Aspire Academy, where the students perform and train in a typical athletic environment and are assessed by coaches, sport scientists and teachers. At the conclusion, the 40 boys with the most potential to excel are nominated for full Aspire Academy scholarships. While most students join Aspire Academy at the age of 12, some older boys, that are referred by federations, join the Academy at higher grades if they fulfill the requirements.

  • Admission

    After the Student Affairs Services Department receives the recommendation of the Football Department and the QFA for the football referees programme, the eligibility of each potential student-athlete checked. Therefore, he must be a permanent resident of Qatar and meet the educational requirements such as completing grade 6. In a personal meeting with educational, medical, football and dormitory staff, the parents have the possibility to find out more about the Aspire Academy and take a tour through the facilities. Besides their acceptance, and the eligibility it is also possible to pass a medical test in order to become a student-athlete of Aspire Academy.

  • Education

    The Academy divides education into two phases: the middle school (Grades 7-9) and the high school (Grades 10-12). An appropriate learning environment takes account of the interests and skills of each student athlete and encourages a dedication to learning. Where students travel abroad, are absent owing to injury or for other justifiable reasons, it is the teacher’s job to adapt the topics and activities to the needs of the student athletes to ensure that they do not fall behind. The holistic ’Leadership Development Programme‘ familiarises students with the core values of the Academy, such as accountability, synergy, professionalism, integrity, respect and excellence, while also impressing upon them the importance of peer coaching, constructive criticism, collaboration and multiculturalism.

  • Football Development

    The training philosophy of the Academy follows a strategy that is geared towards the development of the individual player, who should be able to know what the game demands in any given situation. The programme places each student-athlete at the centre of coaching and sports science and he has the opportunity to develop in a competitive environment by playing regularly against youth teams from the world’s leading clubs in tournaments in Doha and abroad. Selected players also have the chance to gain international experience through temporary training placements with professional clubs in Europe.

  • Sports Development

    In the Foundation Year it's all about teaching the 12 to 13 year-olds how to move properly. What follows is the Talent Development stage, where we focus on the right kind of training. The third stage begins at the age of 16; ’Performance Development‘, as the name suggests, is all about optimising performance. Throughout the year Aspire student-athletes have the opportunity to participate in international camps and competitions which involve overseas campaigns, locally run international events and visiting teams. The competition element of the Aspire programmes focuses on continuing performance development, while at the same time allowing young athletes to experience and become accustomed to the challenges and demands of travel, performing in unfamiliar environments, weather conditions and adapting to different cultures.

  • Graduation

    After five years the students graduate from the Academy and take the next step in their development. Whether this is in pursuing a career in sports or continuing their education, it’s very important to us that each of our graduates has both a plan A as well as a plan B for their future. Therefore, the University and Career Networking Section of Aspire Academy helps them to identify potential career possibilities in different fields. We also contact universities and companies and they come and present themselves at the Academy. We help our students with their applications to universities at home and abroad; to date 69% of our graduates have gone on to study.

  • Football Elite

    Some graduates will join some of Qatar’s top and fast rising sportsmen and former scholars who graduated from Aspire Academy such as the likes of Abdulkarim Hassan, Akram Afif or Fahad Abdulrahman, who have all successfully made it in professional football, by playing for clubs in Europe or in the Qatar Stars League and representing Qatar on A-team level. Aspire Academy’s support does not end on graduation day – by using their network they help talented graduates and some of them found a home in European clubs that are owned by Aspire Zone giving their professional careers a kick-start.

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  • Sports Elite

    Some graduates will join some of Qatar’s top and fast rising sportsmen and former scholars who graduated from Aspire Academy such as the likes of Mutaz Essa Barshim, Ashraf El-Seify, Abdulla Al-Tamimi, who have excelled and are competing at the very top of their respective sports. In sports, they continue their training with their respective coaches from the respective Qatari sports federation. An elite number of graduates stay closely connected with the Academy by being selected for the ’Elite Athletes Programme‘, that guarantees them continuous support from Aspire Academy. In the process, these alumni function as role models for current students and are able to share their experience with them on a regular basis.

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Pre-Academy Programs

Football Talent Centres

In the Football Talent Centres, that are placed all over Qatar, we work with boys from the age 4 to 8 (U5 to U8). Boys can join the programme either by coming directly the centres for a trial, or by being selected in schools or in clubs. Every boy has to undergo a trial period to determine if the level of skills is good enough for the respective age group of the Aspire Football Programme.

The Football Talent Centres are located in Aspire Dome, Al Khor Qatar Foundation School, Al Wakhra Qatar Foundation School, Dafna in Onaiza Public Park and also in Qatar Foundation in Education City.

Multi-Sport-Skills Development

The Multi-Sport-Skills Development programme is open for all Qatari boys aged 7 to 12 years and the purpose is to lay the foundations of sports development for potential future Qatari representative athletes. The centres are based in Aspire and a number of Ministry of Education schools. There is also one centre for girls based in Aspire.

For all general enquiries contact Saleh Al-Marri