Page 88 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine VII

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There was also a very special visit made by Sky Blue member Ali Al
Haddad after he won a competition to be an official mascot for the
match against Tottenham Hotspur. On an unforgettable day for the
Emirati schoolboy, he had his shirt signed by the entire team, swapped
high fives with striker Mario Balotelli in the tunnel and then led the
team out alongside his hero, midfield superstar David Silva.
“I will never ever forget the day!” said Ali. “David Silva is my favourite
player in the world and he was so nice to me. Mario was brilliant fun
and all the players came over and signed my shirt. Then we watched
the game and the noise was so loud. It is when you are there in the
stadium that you feel how exciting it is to watch City play. It was my
first time, but I will be going back again.”
Promising youngsters
Youth is at the heart of City’s efforts in Abu Dhabi, where they
launched the official School of Football for boys and girls in January.
Out on the beautifully lush pitches at Zayed Sports City, youngsters
are taught by professional coaches from the Club using the same
techniques used in Manchester on a daily basis.
“We coached around 750 children during the season, and the team
and I have been very impressed by both the enthusiasm and the skill
level,” said School of Football head coach Simon Hewitt.
Roberto Mancini with the Sky Blue Membership