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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Aspiring women’s footballer from UAE gets trip of a lifetime for Manchester City Women

The sky’s the limit for four aspiring female footballers from the United Arab Emirates as an invitation from Manchester City Women’s Football turned into the trip of a lifetime thanks to Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates.

For the girls, including Madiyah, 12, Meriel and Sura, 11, and Zarah, nine, who all attend the UAE’s City Soccer Academy, midweek coaching in Abu Dhabi usually ends with tactical briefings.

In a heartwarming video released to celebrate International Women’s Day, the girls were delighted to receive personal messages from England’s Lionesses, Chloe Kelly and Lauren Hamp, and Australia’s Hayley Russo, They were invited to be Manchester City’s matchday mascots. The Women’s Super League match against Arsenal at the Academy Stadium on the Etihad campus in Manchester.

Unbeknownst to the girls, Etihad Airways had arranged an eight-hour flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Manchester that night for the players, their parents and coaches.

As part of the experience, the young girls enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look at City Women’s final training session ahead of the game, and had the privilege of posing for photos and signing autographs with some of the club’s role models.

City Soccer Academy coach Georgia Bainbridge said: “When we were told the surprise and asked to recommend four girls, Madiyah, Meriel, Sura and Zarah immediately came to mind. The attitude is excellent, which all the coaches at the Emirates City Football School admire a lot.

“We want to keep motivating our female players and promote women’s football in the UAE as much as possible, which has helped tremendously after the Women’s Euros and Chloe Kelly’s winning goal. She is something the girls admire and hope to one day Players to emulate, so to have the opportunity to watch her and the rest of the team train before meeting her and the rest of the team was unbelievable.”

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