With World Cup 2022 in the pipeline and after recently clinching the 2019 Asian Cup, Qatar is in a football frenzy. There has been an influx of private football academies with several of them popping all across Doha to enable children from all social and cultural backgrounds and abilities to enjoy football. These private academies get to participate in either the Qatar Community Football League or the Qatar Junior League. We take a look at some of the best academies in Doha and what they have to offer to all the little aspiring footballers.
Doha Pearl Academy
Formed in 2017 and boasting an excellent facility behind the Doha Golf Course, Doha Pearl Academy is one of the most renowned academies in town. It accommodates boys and girls from the ages of two to 18 and the older children then have the opportunity to represent the Pearl FC, who were just crowned QAL (Qatari third tier of football) champions, which sees the club promoted to the Qatar Stars League Two. The club has an active senior team giving children something to work towards and this is done using the academy’s extensive player development plan. All academy activities and proceedings are overseen by UEFA-qualified head coach and former professional goalkeeper from Ireland Ciaran Kelly. Training sessions are held during the week from 4pm to 7pm.
QR60 (per session). Doha Sports Park (5080 8785).
Evolution Sports Qatar
Commonly known as Evo, this is the pioneer of private football academies in Doha. Founded in 2007, Evo has gone on to become one of the most successful and biggest private academies. There are multiple locations, most notably in Al Waab, West Bay and North Duhail. Evo take in children from as early as three years old and train them until the age of 18. Girls-only classes are available, too.
Doha College, Al Waab (4407 6722).
Grinta Sport Academy
The new guys on the block have made great strides and are growing in number and quality. Formed in 2018, the name Grinta comes from the Italian word for passion and perseverance, which is exactly what the coaches instill into their players at every session. Grinta is led by UEFA-licensed head coach Adamos Efsthatiou from Cyprus who already has valuable experience coaching in Qatar. Classes are conducted for boys and girls from the age of four to 17.
Al Sadd, Dafna, Abu Hamour (5005 0898).
Formed in August 2015 under the name Al Etihad Sports Academy, Absolute Sports got a name change in 2017 under new management. The academy trains children aged five to 17. Head coach Slaven Bukal from Croatia is UEFA-licensed and conducts sessions at the Sudanese School in Abu Hamour during the week from Sunday to Thursday, 5pm to 7pm.
QR450 (per month). Abu Hamour (5501 7739).
Premier League Soccer
PLS is a football community programme and academy set up in 2013 (with eight locations now). Its objective is to increase active participation and promote personal and team development. Training sessions are from 2pm until 7pm across different locations. UEFA-licensed Tom Brearley from Manchester has worked with PLS since 2015 as head coach.
Various locations (5508 6300).
With venues in Ain Khalid, Al Luqta, Education City and Madinat Khalifa, Future Sports work to develop your child as a complete player. Training sessions usually take place on weekdays from 4pm to 6pm and on weekends from 8am to 11am for children between the ages of three to 15. The head coach at Future Sports is UEFA-qualified South African Keegan Walker.
Various locations (3344 2547).
Oryx FC was formed in 2009 by Sebastien Pinede and Stephane Morello (with Brazilian legend Juninho Pernambucano present at the inauguration). Children aged four to 19 can benefit from the weekly sessions. Algerian-French UEFA-qualified head coach Samir Belhadj oversees sessions.
Doha Golf Club, Lusail (6605 6068).
Paris Saint Germain – Doha
The early 2019 academy opening of the famous Qatari-owned French club was attended by PSG first team coach Thomas Tuchel and a few stars from the French League. Head coach Cyril Klosek has vast coaching experience and conducts his sessions at the branch in Education City.
Qatar Foundation (3306 2115).