Future Academy class of 2020 wins the second-annual Future Cup, Beirut
“I’ve made one Ahmad, but now our dream is to make 30.”
Touching words from Coach Saleh at the closing ceremony of the Future Cup, Beirut this November. He spoke with pride about Future Academy’s co-founder Ahmad Al Jamal and the charity’s first batch of pupils, who claimed victory at this year’s tournament.
The Future Academy team came back from 2-0 down to win the semi finals, against the brave and brilliant Syrian Academy team. They went onto the final that same day, where they ran away with a 5-2 victory vs Shatila, whose young players are from a nearby refugee camp.
30 years in the making
Coach Saleh has been teaching young Palestinians to play football for 30 years. His great success story – his star – is Ahmad. Born in Burj Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut, he went on to play professionally, in the Lebanese Premier League and on the international stage.
Today, Coach Saleh and Ahmad work together – alongside Future Academy’s co-founder Chris Watts – to provide a school for players of promise. The charity provides these disadvantaged children with the skills needed to realise their potential as footballers, but also to develop their spoken and written English.
A special thanks to Future Academy’s sponsors
This special two-day tournament was made possible thanks to the generosity of ethical drinks brand Nai Arabia and wellness specialists Fine Hygiene, who together provided every child’s football kit and the PPE equipment necessary to host a safe event.
The team kept hydrated with Nai Arabia’s selection of natural, healthy iced teas, which come with no added sugar. The Future Academy team were also delighted with Fine Hygiene’s Fine Guard face masks, which are reusable, safe and stylish.
Who are these special young pupils?
A gifted group of 10 to 13 year olds who have been hand selected by Coach Saleh and Ahmad for two reasons: because of their sporting talent but, just as importantly, their willingness to study and work hard to achieve their dream – becoming the new Ahmad!