Muscat Football Academy sends 11 players on trial to Italy
May 8, 2019 | 4:37 PM
by Times News Service
Muscat Football Academy has sent nine of its players to Italy to be a part of a trial programme.

Muscat: Four Omanis are part of an 11-player outfit that Muscat Football Academy will be sending to Italian club Torino as part of a trial, after which they could sign professional contracts if they excel.

Moosa Bait Ishaq, Ali Al Hashmi, Ahmed Al Busaidi and Moatasim Al Khusaibi all left for Italy on Sunday night, along with seven of their teammates, where they will take part in a trial organised by FC Torino, who play in Serie A, Italian football’s top league.

Travelling along with them are Alejandro Olaya, Carlos Hernandez, Mees Eppink, Gianluca Schattorie and Yousuf Edam. In addition, two more Omanis, Suhayb Al Kharusi and Mohammed Al Naamani currently play for Lombardia Uno, an academy run under Italian giants AC Milan. They too will be trialling in Torino and will move if successful.

Muscat Football Academy has sent nine of its players to Italy to be a part of a trial programme.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for the boys,” explained MFA head coach Chuck Martini. “It is a dream come true for them because they will be rubbing shoulders with players that could one day be some of Italy’s finest. Torino are known for their youth academy and so the players we send there will definitely be facing a challenge. Some of them have earned it, to be fair, and Torino picked out four or five of them when they came here during the Oman International Youth Cup last November.

“Some of the older ones, such as Moosa Bait Ishaq, one of our older ones, are fantastic players,” he added. “He and Ahmed Al Busaidi are unbelievable talents. Ahmed is someone I consider to be our version of David Silva of Manchester City, and I would go one step further and say that Moosa is like a cross between Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo. He is an absolute gem of a talent and a good leader.”

Former Leicester City goalkeeper Martini revealed that some of his players had been on trial at European clubs previously as well.

“Alejandro was very close to signing for Hellas Verona last year,” he said. “He is back with us and had a fantastic season. I really wish the boy all the best to see if he can push through and see if he can make his dream come true. I am sure all these boys are looking forward to making their dreams come true.”

In addition, Mees Eppink had a trial with Ajax Amsterdam in his home country, but according to Martini, “He is back with us because he got a bit homesick, but he is wanted by a host of clubs. For now, though, he will settle at MFA for this season. Arsenal were interested in signing him, but we will see if he is up for it after next season.”

“They are really special talents,” said the former Morocco international, while describing his players. “There are two or three players that we have unfortunately have to leave behind but I am sure they will get their opportunities in the summer, and we are fortunate that Torino have given us this opportunity to gauge our children. They are very serious, because if anyone does well, they will sign them.”

Muscat Football Academy has sent nine of its players to Italy to be a part of a trial programme.

While it Italy, the boys met Moise Kean, the Italian striker who plays for Juventus, Turin’s other club. Martini also shed some light on the training camp in Italy, as well as what the players could expect.

“It is a five-day training camp,” he said. “They had their medical in the morning on Monday, and began training in the afternoon.

Tuesday they trained with their prospective age groups, and on Wednesday, there is a trial match where they will be participating in their own age categories. Thursday is for the older kids and on Friday, we will be departing late at night.

“We will be training that morning, and we will depart later that night. Hopefully one or two will catch the eye of the coaches and scouts over here. It is a fantastic opportunity for the academy, it’s really great."

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