Manchester City plan worldwide coaching schools
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Manchester City's goalkeeper Joe Hart, center, stands in his goal as his team loose 2-0 at Everton in their English Premier League soccer match at Goodison Park Stadium, Liverpool, England, Saturday March 16, 2013. AP photoManchester City have revealed plans to create a series of international coaching centres across the world following the success of their football school in Abu Dhabi.
The Premier League champions' coaching centre in Abu Dhabi, named the MCFC School of Football, has doubled in size since it opened a year ago and now caters for 550 boys and girls aged between five and 18 and is run by five coaches on weekday evenings and Saturdays.
The success of the centre, based at Zayed Sports City, will become the blueprint for further international projects as City's Abu Dhabi-based owners look to expand their club's global brand.
City were bought by Sheikh Mansour's Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008 and their huge investment culminated in last year's Premier League title triumph.
"The success of the MCFC School of Football in Abu Dhabi is fast becoming the benchmark for our coaching excellence internationally, with the club currently exploring other destinations around the world for future expansions," a City statement on Wednesday read.
Coaching at the school takes the form of 10-week courses, all of which follow the same training techniques and philosophies of Roberto Mancini's first team squad at City.
Former Arsenal and France star Patrick Vieira, now working as City's football development executive, added: "Every time I visit the School of Football, I am amazed at the growing number of kids wanting to learn how to play the City way and how much talent they have at such a young age.
"It's so important to have the correct coaching at a young age, as these early principles and values can ultimately end up driving, guiding and defining you as both a player, and as a person."