Former Arsenal midfielder Ian Selley has been appointed as the new head coach at Arsenal Soccer Schools Dubai, guiding young football hopefuls nearer to their dreams. 

As a professional footballer, Selley was known for his tight control, firm tackling and intelligent distribution, qualities he will share with fledgling footballers when the school’s new season starts on September 24.

“This is the perfect job for me,” said Selley. “With my Arsenal background and my passion for coaching, this is an ideal opportunity, especially as it’s based in Dubai, a city and lifestyle that I have always admired.

“I look forward to seeing my first intake of junior footballers from around the UAE,” added Selley, who has worked under Arsène Wenger, a coach who is renowned for nurturing young talent. “I have updated the training programme and there are some new and exciting surprises for those who sign up. My aim is for us to deliver sessions that are great fun and very satisfying at the same time, in a safe and educational environment.” 

Selley, now 38, made his debut with Arsenal in 1992 and chalked up a total of 60 appearances – winning the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners Cup - before spells at Southend, Fulham and Wimbledon. Aged 18, he also represented England in the 1993 FIFA World Youth Championships.

As head coach at Arsenal Soccer Schools Dubai, Selley will oversee all coaching at the facility, which was set up in 2009 as a joint venture between Arsenal and Emirates, based at 7he Sevens, the airline’s dedicated sporting facility on the Al Ain Road.

The school, which teaches youngsters to 'Play the Arsenal Way', runs three 10-week terms each year. Enrolment starts at Dhs 1,750, which covers the cost of an Arsenal Nike training kit, water bottle, cap and sports holdall.

Arsenal Soccer Schools Dubai has been popular since it kicked off three years ago and with the new term about to start later this month, aspiring footballers are encouraged to sign up sooner rather than later. The school is open to boys and girls aged five to 18 of all abilities.

One testimonial posted on the school’s website from the father of a seven-year-old student reads: "Having attended several different coaching schools and academies with my two sons, in a number of different countries, I can say without reservation that the training methods and interaction with the children at the Arsenal Soccer School is exceptional.

"I particularly appreciate the sense of aspiration that is encouraged in the players - that they can be better, and should aspire to be."

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12 Sep 2012