Azerbaijani club Sumqayit FK has thanked Aspire Academy for hosting them for a training camp and a series of friendly games.
The under-12 and under-11 squads from Sumqayit FK spent time training at Aspire’s facilities and played three matches each against the Academy’s feeder teams.
Aspire’s under-11s won all three of their games while there was a win, a draw and a loss for the under-12 squad.
Hakan Sunal the Academy Director at Sumqayit FK was grateful for the opportunity to travel to Qatar and was confident the players will return home with new experiences both on and off the pitch.
“I would like to say thank you very much to the Aspire Academy for their invitation,” Sunal said.
“It is a big experience for us to travel outside Azerbaijan. We have had a super few days here and enjoyed it very much, and we love this country.”
“The first thing we will take back him are the cultural differences here. We have seen a lot of things that we don’t have in our country, like behaviour, like the people.”
“From a football point of view, you have a very, very good infrastructure here. The teams are well organised, all the academies are well organised, and we are very happy to play against your academy.”
“Our meetings with the video analyst for example means we can take away a lot of things with us, which I think will help us to improve our football style back in Azerbaijan.”
Aspire Academy’s Pedro Verde, who was coaching the under-12 players, also highlighted the importance of playing against teams from outside Qatar.
“These games against overseas opponents are very important, for the players and for us coaches as well,” he explained.
“They allow us to compete and to transfer what we have worked on in training during the week to a competitive game.
“They offer new challenging situations that help our players to continue learning and developing,” Verde added.
“For us as coaches, it is a great experience because we can analyse the individual objectives we have given the players in a competitive environment which is very important for their learning.”
The feeder teams will now return to normal training sessions as they continue their development, with more friendly matches against overseas opponents planned for next year.
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