Juventus Oman crowned champs of Under-8 division
January 28, 2018 | 9:27 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan/[email protected]
Juventus Oman fielded three teams: Juventus Black, White and Yellow, and in the end, it was Juventus Black who lifted the trophy on Saturday afternoon, beating Samba FC 3-0 in the final.

Muscat: Juventus Oman have been crowned champions of the Under-8 division GCC Club Series tournament, which was held in Muscat on January 26 and 27.

The tournament saw the under-8 sides from Juventus academies from Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman play against each other, as well as two local teams from the Sultanate – the Barcelona Soccer Academy and Samba FC.

Juventus Oman fielded three teams: Juventus Black, White and Yellow, and in the end, it was Juventus Black who lifted the trophy on Saturday afternoon, beating Samba FC 3-0 in the final, after a tough 1-0 victory over Juventus Bahrain in the semis.

“Even though there are three of us in this tournament, we all represent one team,” said Gerald Lami, senior coach for Juventus Oman. He added, “We all need to be proud of ourselves. The boys in the final wouldn’t have done it without the support of their teammates and the efforts of their parents. We prepare every week for occasions like this; you could see that the boys were prepared, and it showed as they won.”

“They were very, very excited and very happy, and it shows that they’ve gotten a lot of confidence after the win,” he added. “You’ve got to work hard, and sometimes, you’ve got to learn to keep going. It is important for children to start playing sports at an early age so that they can learn the fundamentals as they get older, and it gets easier for them to play,” Lami noted.

Each GCC nation hosts one age group of the tournament. The team that is most successful across all of the tournament legs is the one that is crowned regional champion.

“We prepared quite a bit and a lot of communication was required, because we had teams coming in from overseas, in terms of fixtures, how many players they are bringing in, how many teams are going to play; there was a lot of preparation and the Juventus Academy team came together and got it done,” said Davis Rizzolo, head coach for Juventus Academy Oman.

“When children are young, they are like sponges, they can soak up a lot of information, so when they play, this is a stepping stone for them and it then becomes normal for them to be playing in tournaments. It’s great for their confidence,” he said, adding, “You don’t just learn from winning though, you learn from losing and drawing too, so these competitive games are important for kids.”

“I’d say to parents that it is important to see what their child is interested in,” said Rizzolo. He added, “Testing loads of different sports – it doesn’t have to be football – just to ensure they’re having fun at a young age, and they are meeting people from different cultures and different countries, and this is amazing for them to grow as people.”

Also present at the tournament was Ahmed Al Ghaithy, a former Oman national team player, who is now coach of the country’s national futsal team and head coach and founder of Samba FC.

“This tournament at such an age is mainly for children to get the concept of the game,” he said, adding, “The other thing is for everyone to understand their positions. At this age, this is the concept of this particular tournament. We practice these things in training, and then it is important to come to tournaments like these to see how well we can implement them.”

“The children’s behaviour and attitude at such tournaments should reflect a friendly and fair game,” added Al Ghaithy.

“Maybe some of these kids won’t continue to play football in the future, but they will become very good athletes, whether they are runners, jumpers or swimmers, and will know the importance of being physically fit.”

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