For many people in Dubai, the dream of being a professional athlete is a real dream. The culture, environment, opportunity, and facilities all exist. So, too, does the climate and the coaching environment. Everything that you need to become a footballer in Dubai exists – you just need to know what to do to make it a reality.
As a youngster reading this, you might be desperate to fulfil your dreams of becoming a footballer. How, then, does one make that possible? What pathways exist to becoming a professional football player in Dubai?
This is mostly for a parent – if you are a parent and your child wishes to be a player, make them commit early. The skills you need and the personality skills required are skills that will be honed over time. However, they must be built and developed from a young age.
That is why if you wish to become a professional football player that you must decide early that this is your dream. You cannot decide this in your teenage years; it must be a decision made early on in life. The sacrifices needed to become a professional footballer is massive; you need to be ready to commit all that you have to making it a reality.
This is why if you do wish to become a professional you have to make the choice as early on in your life as you can, otherwise it’s extremely hard.
Join a local team
From a young age, one of the best things that you can do is join a local football team. Even if it’s just a small hobbyist endeavour to start out with, having a football team in your life from a young age is always useful. Having a team also helps you to get used to the fact that football is at its heart a team game; it does not matter what you can do individually compared to what you can do collectively.
If you wish to become a footballer, then getting used to playing in a team-based environment is vital. You can have all the skills and touches in the world, but if you cannot play as part of a team then you need to do something about that ASAP.
So, join a local team – from a young age, getting used to playing every weekend is essential.
Join a football academy
However, while playing for a local team is always useful, the time will come when you have to step it up. The best way to get the kind of coaching and personal development that you need is to join a football academy in the UAE. For example, the Star Football Academy. This academy is one of the best in the UAE, with numerous facilities to choose from across the Middle East.
They also provide professional coaching, a positive coaching and playing environment, and top quality facilities to utilise. For many young players, this would be like your first taste of being involved with a real football club; you will get used to being coached, meeting expectations, and playing for results as well as to improve as a person.
At this stage, you’ll start being moulded into the player that you could one day become.
Find your position
Of course, while many footballers are versatile, it pays to have a clear position. You should look to, during your formulative academy years, work with coaches to help you find your position. You should be looking to try and find not a position that suits you most, but also that suits your team. The secret to being a footballer today is having enough of a varied skillset that means you could play numerous roles and systems.
However, every player has a natural position that they would be most suited to. Your natural build and skillset will play a role in this. So, too, will your ability to work with coaches to find out where your abilities and natural skills would be most suited.
To become a professional, though, having a clear idea of where you can play is always going to be useful for securing your professional future.
Undertake a scholarship
One means of finding employment in the professional echelons of football in the UAE is to join an academy and utilise their scholarship program. For example, the Star Football Academy can give you access to a scholarship system that would allow you to easily undertake such a career path.
This would allow you to potentially land a role within the academy of a top team within the UAE, or even further afield if your talent excited enough. However, you should look to find a professional path in and one of the best paths is to go and gain a scholarship through your academy of choice.
Again, the Star Football Academy can help you to find a scholarship program and work towards becoming a professional as time goes on. The journey is long and challenging, but with the right support it’s by no means an impossible dream.
Never stop improving
Even if you do manage to land a position within an academy, the hard work is only just beginning. The secret for moving from academy to senior level is to listen and learn. Whatever your coaches tell you to work on, it’s time to work on it. Put the hours in off the pitch, too; watch other teams play, take part in coaching badge programs, and look to learn the game.
Investigate the team you play for and their style of play, and how you can contribute to that personally. Take your fitness and nutrition extremely seriously, and don’t allow your focus to wander. Football is often a 10-year career, so you don’t have long to make your mark. Therefore, remember that you can enjoy what you have ‘missed out on’ today once you have achieved success on and off the field.
To become a professional football player in Dubai, you need to make your decision early and stick to it. Think you can do that? Then consider joining the Star Football Academy today.