Muscat: The junior teams of the Muscat Football Academy excelled in the second edition of the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup organised in the UAE capital recently.
The Muscat Football Academy’s under-12 team clinched the City Plate Silver Trophy to cap their unbeaten record in the tournament.
In the run up to the final, the Muscat team won three matches and drew two. In the summit clash, they came up a strong side and thanks to Max Huysen’s crucial save the team managed to seal the trophy with a shootout victory.
After the victory, the under-12 team captain Safwan Al Kharusi said: “Last year I don’t think we did so well, but we have improved a lot. We practiced more as a team and changed our tactics. This year we didn’t lose a match and I believe in my team to get even better. The experience has been great and given us a chance to meet people from different countries, which is amazing, and I look forward to taking part again next year.”
Meanwhile, the Muscat Football Academy U-14 team also impressed and reached the final in the Gold category before narrowly missing out on the trophy by losing 1-0 to the academy side of CFR Cluj of Romania, a professional team currently leading the Romanian first league.
Chuck Martini, head coach of Muscat Football Academy, said: “This was a fantastic achievement from both teams at the academy. The under-12 team featured seven Omani players and this shows that they have developed well and are heading in the right direction to fulfil their dreams. Both teams have given a big boost for the academy. The teams are very special to me because I’ve coached some for four years, since the opening of the academy, and they have improved so much.”
“I can see some going all the way to becoming professionals. Winning the under-12s and getting to the final in the under-14 is great. I hope that the development continues and their progress moves up a level for next season. I believe they are a special bunch of players and I am hoping for bigger and better things, starting in two weeks with the Gulf Cup.”