ASPIRE Teams Gain Valuable Experience of European Football
ASPIRE ’92 and ’95 football teams showed their continued development with impressive performances against a strong VfB Stuttgart side.
Youth squads from the German club visited the ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence on a training camp, which included playing matches against the ASPIRE student athletes.
ASPIRE ’95 won both of their games against VfB Stuttgart ‘95 – the first went in their favour 2-1 and the second finished 1-0.
ASPIRE ’92 showed their character and fighting spirit against VfB Stuttgart ’92. Having lost the opening game 4-1, they improved dramatically in the second match to draw 1 all.
“I am very pleased with the progress shown by all of the players at Aspire,” said Michael Browne, Head Football Coach, ASPIRE. “They have proved in recent years that they can compete with the best teams and best young players from Europe.VFB Stuttgart have very good youth sides and I was impressed in particular with their 1992 team. It was a pleasure to welcome the players, management and parents of VfB Stuttgart to ASPIRE and I think both teams benefited greatly from the experience.”
Anold Rijsenburg, ASPIRE ‘92 said: “The game comes just after our winter camp in Rome. Obviously Stuttgart provides a very good test for our boys, especially has they have three players in the German national team under 17 squad. They surprised us in the first game which we lost 1-4, but in the second we were the best side and we missed a lot of opportunities, but taking the game to 1-1 is a good result in front of a big team like Stuttgart.”
Other recent youth teams who visited the ASPIRE Academy recently include Bayer Leverkusen, Espanyol, Fulham, Charlton and Tottenham.
Thomas Albeck, Youth Academy Technical Director, VfB Stuttgart said: “This was a very good test for our boys, and provided an excellent opportunity to experience playing in an Arab country. We have all been very impressed with the hospitality afforded to us, and overwhelmed by the world class facilities that are provided at ASPIRE.”
“In both games we lost to ASPIRE team, but it was very important for us to play here, especially at this time of the year when it is very cold in Germany,” said Martin Kempf, VfB Stuttgart, under 13 coach. “The ASPIRE boys proved strong at winning the first and second ball. Generally I think we have had a good test against a well organised team.”
Marc Kienle, VfB Stuttgart under 17 coach said: “In the first game we surprised ASPIRE by scoring very early in the match. I was impressed with the talent shown by many of the ASPIRE players – they played very good football, and during the second game ASPIRE outplayed us. We scored from a free kick, while they scored from open play and missed many real opportunities.”
ASPIRE opened in 2004 to identify and develop sporting talent across Qatar and the surrounding region. 23 Student Athletes were the first to graduate from ASPIRE Academy in June this year. The academy is also a focus for the world-renowned sporting culture within the country.