GULF OPEN CUP, DUBAI
08 APR 19
On 4th April 2019, as the players arrived at the Oman International Airport, you could sense their excitement. It is the first time Alpha U12 team is travelling for an international tournament held at
Dubai Sports City organized by ISG Events.
After a short flight, the team arrived at the S Hotel in Al Barsha. The welcoming staff and the organizers helped the team settle into their rooms. At noon, the team was presented with their new kit for the tournament and were given instructions, as on the following days would be their matches.
Rest of the day was to relax and unwind.
At sunrise, the team was treated to a low impact cross-training in the swimming pool to build endurance, core strength and flexibility. Later, the team arrived at Dubai Sports City, dawning the new kit and ready to battle it out on the field. As the hours passed by, the excitement turned into nervousness, and pre-match jitters started to get a hold off the team. The instructions from the coaches were simple, enjoy the experience and play the game. The team had trained hard and true to showcase their talent and make an impact going into the tournament.
The team met with an enormous challenge. The lack of teams in the U12 category saw them compete against teams that were more seasoned and mature. Still, they put on a show as nothing held them back and quickly became fan favourites garnering support from spectators, organizers and approval from the opponents. Though the results were not favourable, the team would go on to battle every game as if it was their last.
For these young kids, results did not matter; all they cared was to play the game and learn to
love every aspect of it, win or lose.
The two-day event passed in the blink of an eye. Though disheartened by the results, the team was ready to take the positives, go back and prepare for their next challenge.
Statements from Alpha Football Academy
Farhan Biju (DOB 15 JUL 08)
One of the best decision I took was joining Alpha Football Academy. Within six months, I could already feel quite an improvement in my game. In less than a year, I was selected for the Gulf Open Cup 2019. I was shocked and surprised. As the days were nearing the excitement was increasing. Finally, the day had come, and at the airport, we were still trying to believe that it's true. We were thirteen in total, and we travelled via Fly Dubai. After we reached Dubai, we went to the S Hotel, and I was living alone for the first time without my parents and with my friends. The first day was to relax and chill out with the coaches, friends and a bit of shopping.
The second day we woke up and directly jumped into the pool, and that was the day of the tournament. We warmed up and got ready. Unfortunately, we lost the match, which was depressing. However, as a footballer, I felt great to have played in such a big tournament. I learned from my mistakes and started working on it. We never thought of travelling to a country like Dubai on our own, that too for our favourite sport. I have been smarter and independent ever since. I'm thankful to the coaches for giving us such an excellent opportunity to go to a place like Dubai.
Harsh Shedge (DOB 19 JAN 08)
Gulf Open Cup 2019 was a great learning experience for me. It was my first time travelling to another country and participating in an international tournament. We had a tough time in the matches, but we tried our level best. We enjoyed a lot in Dubai, and I am very thankful to our great coaches for arranging such an event. The four days stay in Dubai was very joyful, and I learned a lot from it.
Nitheep Varghese (DOB 24 SEP 08)
It was my first trip to Dubai, and I am glad it was with Alpha Football Academy. It was a fantastic trip and a great experience of playing football and participating in a tournament in Dubai. My dream is to be a professional football player and travel around the world to play football. I wish more opportunities will come to me in the future.
05 APR 19
06 APR 19
Number of Participants