Senegal Success for ASPIRE AFRICA Football Dreams

Published June 21st, 2007 - 06:37 GMT

ASPIRE Africa Football Dreams, the world’s largest football talent search, has completed testing young footballers in Senegal this week.

The final week of testing in capital Dakar saw 50 talented footballers from across the West African country, competing for just three spaces in the final in Doha, with those three players earning a chance to win a scholarship at the Academy. Senegal is the first of the seven countries in this unique program.

More than 85 football pitches were utilized during the three week testing program which saw 60,000, thirteen year old boys trying out for the chance to win a coveted place at ASPIRE.

All of the boys tested in Senegal worked very hard. They were put through their paces by a specialist team of football coaches recruited locally and supervised by ASPIRE’s own coaching staff, ensuring a standard approach across the selection process.

The best 50 boys from across the country were then invited to the Senegal capital Dakar for a week long session of training and matches, giving the ASPIRE coaching team the chance to select the very best talents.

Michael Browne, ASPIRE’s head football coach, said: “The level of football skills in Senegal is remarkable, everywhere you look boys are playing the game, in the street, in fields, in bare feet and with anything used as a ball.

“The children have a superb attitude despite living in some of the poorest areas of the country. Some came for testing with no shoes on their feet. The whole experience has been very humbling indeed.

“In Senegal we have seen some excellent talents and we are confident that some of these children will succeed at the very highest levels of international competition, something that previously they could only dream of. ASPIRE will help them realize their dreams.”

The three successful children were all born in 1994 and include a thirteen year old defender, a talented player who, along with his fellow winners, will have the chance of a lifetime to live and learn at ASPIRE.

From Senegal, the football talent search trail heads to the South African capital Johannesburg and the chance to select three young footballers from more than 80,000 boys across the whole of the country.

ASPIRE Africa Football Dreams is testing more than 500,000 boys on the African continent over seven months with the top three players from each country being invited, along with their parents, to ASPIRE for a four week final testing program, with the very best players being offered a scholarship at the Doha based Academy.


ASPIRE, the Academy for Sports Excellence, Doha, was created with the dual aims of identifying and transforming promising student athletes into world renowned champions across a wide range of sports and to act as a beacon to draw sporting culture into the centre of life in Qatar and the surrounding region.

The Academy is distinguished by a philosophy which aims to develop the whole student, providing them with full academic, social and sporting development.

Unrivalled facilities mark the Academy out as one of the world’s foremost sporting and educational institutions, and entice an ever increasing number of visitors from across the spectrum of world sports to use or simply view them.

With one indoor and seven outdoor football pitches, athletics tracks, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, diving pool, combat arenas, gymnastics arena, specially designed weight rooms, lecture halls, dormitories to accommodate what will eventually become 1,000 students, a medical centre and more besides, much beneath the world’s largest purpose built indoor sports dome, every aspect of the development of elite athletes is catered for. ASPIRE is a place for those who dare to dream.



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