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Chelsea Soccer Schools In Middle East

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ABU DHABI — Football-fever is set to hit Abu Dhabi in February when Etihad Airways will host the first-ever overseas visit of the Chelsea Football Club Soccer Schools, a Press release said.

Etihad, the official airline of English premier league side Chelsea, is inviting school children to join the landmark event which takes place from today to February 23 at Zayed Sports City.

Four hundred boys and girls, aged between 7 and 14, will take part in four days of top-level football training and specialist clinics led by members of Chelsea’s youth academy coaching staff and former players, Roberto Di Matteo and Graeme Le Saux.


Anyone know what else Di Matteo is up to ? -last I heard he was running a few restaurants

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Abu Dhabi: Chelsea are planning to open a football academy in Abu Dhabi, according to a source at the Chelsea Soccer School which kicked off yesterday at Zayed Sports City.

"Peter Kenyon, the chief executive of Chelsea, has confirmed the club's interest in a long and permanent partnership with Abu Dhabi. He is expected to arrive soon to finish the deal," said Jamie Cunningham, the managing director of the Professional Sports Group.

Cunningham, the organiser of Etihad Airways football camp for Capital's children born in 1995, '96 and '97 added that "the Chelsea soccer school will cater for 400 children from the Abu Dhabi schools, with four coaches from the English club teaching them the basics of the game".

"Chris Harris, Keith Harmes, Keith Day and Mathew Wilder - who supervise and coach in the Chelsea Soccer School in London - will coach the Abu Dhabi students."

The camp will take four days and it is the first ever Middle East edition of the Chelsea Football School.

"To bring Chelsea Soccer Schools to Abu Dhabi is a great achievement for Etihad Airways as it is one of the biggest names in world football with a first class coaching team," said Peter Baumgartner, the executive VP of Marketing and Product in Etihad Airways.

The kids will learn football skills from the coaches and the club's former stars Graeme Le Saux and Roberto Di Matteo.

Le Saux said: "There is huge appetite for football in the UAE and across the Middle East. During the next four days I am sure we will see some of the region's top young talent on show, some of whom could even play for Chelsea one day."

The girls will surely enjoy the participation of Lorrie Fair, one of the world's top female footballers. Fair, who won the 1999 World Cup with the US, has joined Chelsea's ladies' team.

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