Sheffield United embark on Middle East project
Tue 31st Aug 2010 | Marketing & PR
Sheffield United Football Club are embarking on a project that aims to both propel Syrian national football up the world rankings, and help the Middle eastern nation improve its football infrastructure.
The Blades, one of England's oldest professional clubs, are already developing a unique model which has in place partnership agreements with other professional clubs around the globe, but this new venture concentrates purely on the sporting national interests of a country
Whilst Syria has excellent stadiums it also has also vast resources of untapped talent and potential in sporting performances and coaching.
However, there is also scope for a more professional, coordinated and standardised structure of coaching, facilities and other ancillary back-up that can help Syria raise its profile as a footballing force.
Through a successful programme Syria will also hope to enable its population to take advantage of the new expertise and facilities, improving their quality of life and providing opportunities for greater involvement in sport.
On Sunday (29 August 2010) a five man delegation from Sheffield United, encompassing expertise in a wide spectrum of football coaching and Academy development, sports medicine, sports psychology, and administration travelled to Syria to carry out the initial stage of research.
United Chief Executive Trevor Birch, who with chairman Kevin McCabe has rubber-stamped the Blades' involvement, said:
"As a club we are delighted and honoured to be asked to provide and oversee such a momentous programme. We are a forward thinking club and have confidence in our ability to work with our friends in the Middle East and ultimately deliver what they are looking for.
"It is a tribute to the success we have already had in our global partnerships that we have been chosen to be part of what could be a radical improvement in Syria's sporting landscape and legacy to its population.
"The timing of our delegation's visit has been carefully timed to coincide with the International break so that we do not divert important resources away from Gary Speed's and the first team's requirements.
"Ensuring that this remains the case throughout the project has been a fundamental part of our negotiations leading up to the partnership."
In order to give Syria the best possible chance of making a realistic impact on World Cup qualification, General Mowaffak Joumaa, President of the Syrian Sports Federation, along with the Syrian Olympic Committee, personally invited United's renowned team of experts.
The delegation will form a working party tasked with delivering a five year plan that can transform the face of Syrian sport.
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