Qahwet Masr is set to open a new chapter of exploration as we send Ramez Nathan, our talent scout, to report on the rising athletes of our country.
We started our journey, by interviewing Aly Abdelmoniem, former U20 player for Al Ahly and owner of Paris Saint-Germain Academy (PSG) in Egypt.
What inspired you to start this academy and how did all of this start?
“I love football, I guess that’s what inspired me the most to start this academy. After five years as the marketing director of Al Ahly, I decided to take another football path; I wanted to get back to the pitch and inspire younger generations. I wanted to push them to work harder, work on their physique, skills and most importantly, their values. So I went on to take the FIFA Master Degree, then picked the most exciting academy project and that’s how it all started.”
So you are saying you picked the most exciting academy project, does that mean you contacted other clubs? And what is so special about PSG Academy?
“Yes we contacted a couple of Europe’s finest clubs, but PSG had the most appealing project. It was easy to study as we were not the first in Africa to conduct it; we saw how it grew in Morocco and how their most talented youngsters were offered contracts in Paris. In addition, they were the only project that cared about the players off the field as much as on the field. The value sessions in their syllabus are very important for the morals of our athletes.”
In less than a year, the PSG Academy is vastly growing. How did you manage such a kick-off?
“As I said, PSG started a great project for their academies, along with the great coaching staff that we hold. We are obliged to hire a technical director from PSG as the technical director has to hold a UEFA A coaching license. Our whole coaching staff are well experienced in working with youngsters, developing them technically and tactically.”
Last May, our boys from Egypt traveled to participate in the PSG Academy Cup. The cup does not only serve as a competition, but an entire football experience where the young ones get to enjoy a full tour around Parc des Princes, plus attending a Ligue 1 game for PSG next to 47,000 Parisians cheering for their team.
More importantly, this was Egypt’s first participation in the PSG Academy Cup, and they sure did pull off some remarkable displays. According to our interview with Abdelmoniem, the U10 team were able to grab two wins against India and New York and two other draws against Canada and Dubai. Additionally, the U12 team were able to defeat Brazil and the title holders Canada.
Two of our young pharaohs stole the show, outshining the rest of the squad, as they earned themselves trails at Paris FC with a chance of signing a long-term contract to play for the French club.
Hayaly is the box-to-box midfield fighter of the U10. His brilliance is not limited to building up the play but also in deconstructing the opponent’s offense.
His willingness to listen and adapt to the coach’s instructions make him versatile to every role, but none of his duties stop him from dispatching long range shots.
Hayaly was Egypt’s top goal scorer in the cup; he is setting the bar high and we can only hope he meets expectations as he grows older.
Aly El Shayal
El Shayal was the most vital element in Egypt’s win over Brazil. His toxic free kicks and his dribbling skills helped Egypt step into the breach in the tournament.
He is the midfield genius of the U12; his ability to run past opponents in one-on-one situations along with his devastating shots from anywhere on the field are his deadly weapons in the football arena.
His pinpoint long-through balls can unlock any defense. Hopefully, one day El Shayal can take his vision and creativity at the heart of midfield to the national team.