09 May 2013 09:00

Air Seychelles and equity alliance partner Etihad Airways this week concluded the first ever Manchester City Seychelles Soccer School, a grassroots program focused on the athletic development of young Seychellois. 

Patrick Vieira, legendary player and Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) Football Development Executive, and a team of City coaches headed up the series of clinics for more than 500 Seychelles youngsters aged seven to 16.

The clinics, which took place from May 4 to May 6 on Mahé and Praslin, were organized in collaboration with the Seychelles Football Federation.

Etihad Airways signed a 10-year partnership deal with MCFC in July 2011, which included naming rights for the club’s stadium and expansive surrounding grounds, known as Etihad Stadium and Etihad Campus, respectively, as well as an extension of the existing shirt sponsorship.

Cramer Ball, Air Seychelles Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to have hosted the first ever Manchester City Seychelles Soccer School along with our partner, Etihad Airways. The clinics followed the same successful concept developed by the Club and Etihad Airways for previous events in the UAE and other key markets. Our first Seychelles school was a resounding success.

“We are grateful to Patrick Vieira and the City coaches for their valuable contribution to this program. Thanks to the support of MCFC, the youngsters of Seychelles enjoyed a memorable experience. We look forward to bringing the Soccer Schools back to the Seychelles on a regular basis.”

Patrick said: “It was fantastic to get involved with many of the aspiring young players on the islands. We hope they have picked up some useful coaching tips and inspiration to go on to be the very best they can be.”

In a remarkable playing career spanning 18 years, Patrick Vieira won numerous domestic championships in both England and Italy, as well as the World Cup with France in 1998 and the European Championship two years later. He retired from the game in July 2011 to take on a wide ranging role with MCFC which includes work with the Academy, scouting and community departments.

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