Football Academies for Kids in Doha
Kids football, as in every country across the globe, is immensely popular in Doha. Played everywhere from back gardens to parks, school pitches to football training grounds, indoors and outdoors, kids all over this small nation dream of being the next Lionel Messi or Megan Rapinoe. And, with the World Cup coming to Qatar in 2022, more and more are picking up a ball and joining the game.
In correspondence with the games burgeoning popularity, a whole host of football schools and academies have emerged across Doha in the last two decades. These private establishments provide kids, from all social and cultural backgrounds and abilities, with somewhere to have a kick about, socialise and improve their game. And, they also provide tailored activities to help kids evolve into well-rounded individuals - confident, respectful, hard-working team players.
Each academy offers a plethora of classes and programmes for a variety of ages and abilities. Most also offer more specific courses based on progressing particular skills, i.e. goalkeeping. Many offer girls-only programmes, summer and winter camps, and extracurricular activities. And, some offer pro-development programmes for talented players as a pathway to professional football. The majority of the academies also have teams that participate in either the Qatar Community Football League or the Qatar Foundation Junior Football League - offering kids the opportunity to experience competitive matches, tournaments and competitions.
Coaches at each academy are generally UEFA, FA or AFC qualified and deliver sessions and courses to achieve specific outcomes for player development. All staff are trained in the management of young people.
So, who offers what, when and where?
Top 3 Football Academies
The following sports academies are our top three organisations offering youth football training in Qatar:
Doha Pearl Football Academy
Doha Pearl Football Academy is one of the most popular in Doha. Located at Doha Sports Park, alongside the Doha Golf Course, the academy has exceptional facilities to accommodate kids from the age of two upwards, as well as their senior team and pro-team.
The academy coaching ethos is based on individual player development in an age-appropriate format. Age-specific programmes progress players through football development - from social and physical aspects through to technical and tactical skills and knowledge. Club sessions are planned and delivered to ensure predetermined pathways to specific short term, and long term developmental goals are achieved. Players are assessed and reports provided to parents regularly.
As older kids progress into adult development programmes, there is an opportunity for talented individuals to represent the academy’s senior team and pro team, Pearl FC (Qatar Amateur League champions 2019/Qatar Football Association Second Division team).
Age Range: 2-18 years
Timings and Costs: Training sessions are held during the week from 4 pm onwards (Sun/Mon/Wed). Weekend sessions are held from 8 am on Fridays and 4 pm on Saturdays. Costs vary depending on age range, term dates and length of the term.
Coaches: Coaches are all UEFA and AFC qualified. All academy activities and proceedings are overseen by head coach and former Irish professional goalkeeper, Ciaran Kelly.
Evolution Sports Qatar
Winner of the GHP Best Multi-Sports Youth Coaching Award in 2019, Evolution Sports is Qatar’s largest, and longest-standing, multi-sports coaching provider. Though operating out of multiple locations, Evo Sports main branch is located in Doha College’s brand new Al Wajba campus. The new campus facilities provide access to state-of-the-art facilities, including two 4G football pitches.
The football academy offers children from 3 years upwards numerous programmes, events and opportunities designed to develop a multitude of physical, technical and tactical skills, as well as a wealth of social skills and life skills. Players and parents are provided with online progress reports to measure performance and growth. Kids are encouraged to gain experience of competitive matches through competitions, tournaments and leagues - numerous of which are organised by Evo Sports (Qatar Community League, Qatar Junior Stars League). And, talented individuals are provided with opportunities to train for pro sporting careers or apply for sports scholarships through American organisation, Soccer Assist.
The Evo Sports group are one of the leading lights in Qatar’s youth sports development. They have to date teamed up with the 2022 World Cup’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the Qatar Olympic Committee, the Qatar Football Association, the Qatar Stars League and Aspire Sports Academy to organise, deliver and support the progress of the game in Qatar.
Age Range: 3 - 18 years
Timings and Costs: Training schedules and prices are dependent on the soccer school location (Al Wabb, West Bay, Abu Hamour, North Duhail), age-range and programme. In general, weekdays sessions start from 4 pm onwards and weekend sessions start from 8 am and 1 pm onwards.
Coaches: Coaches are all UEFA licensed.
Paris Saint-Germain Academy Qatar
In 2019, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) opened a branch of its world-renowned football academies in Qatar. With over 70 branches worldwide, Qatar joined a global network of football training schools.
Teaching children from 4 to 18 years of age, the academy’s courses are designed to identify and develop football talents. Training programmes are based on developing players strength and improving technique and tactical awareness, theoretical knowledge and personal qualities.
Kids have the opportunity to play in world-class training facilities, taught by PSG trained and certified coaches delivering a unique PSG training methodology. Talented players also have the chance to play at the PSG World Cup - a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Age Range: 4 to 18 years
Timings and Costs: Training schedules are dependent on the age range, programme and the soccer school location (Al Khor, Al Wakra, Lusail and Qatar Foundation Education City). In general, weekdays sessions start from 4 pm onwards at Lusail and QF, and 4:45 pm onwards at Al Khor and Al Wakra. Weekend sessions are only available at Lusail and Qatar Foundation and start from 9 am onwards. Costs are dependent on age, programme type and programme length. An annual registration fee is required for all programmes.
Coaches: Coaches are all UEFA licensed.
There are plenty of other organisations offering football training for a variety of ages and abilities, many of which also provide the opportunity for kids to play competitively via leagues, competitions and tournaments. Training is generally held on weekday afternoons and weekends. Most organisations offer training via licensed coaches (AFC, CAF, FA, UEFA).
Absolute Sports Academy
Absolute Sports is a multisports training academy for kids aged between 5 and 17 years. Led by UEFA licensed head coach - former Croatian footballer Slaven Bukal - training sessions are held at the Sudanese School in Abu Hamour, weekdays from 5 pm onwards. The academy also offers winter/summer camps during the school holidays.
BK Sports is a multisport and education provider with a sports academy offering football to kids under 3 to 14 years at the Spectra Global School in Al Duhail. The organisation also provides an all-girls academy offering football training at the English Modern School in Al Messila.
Future Sports Academy
Future Sports operates out of several venues - Compass International School in Medinat Khalifa, Doha British School in Ain Khalid, Qatar Foundation in Education City and the Swiss International School in La Luqta. The group offers 3-17 year olds a variety of football programmes including advanced and development football training, girls-only sessions, and elite training. Depending on the location, sessions generally run on weekdays from 4 pm and on weekdays from 8 am. Coaches are UEFA and FA licensed.
Grinta Sport Academy
Grinta Academy, named after the Italian word for passion and perseverance, is a relatively new football training school established in 2018. The academy offers football, freestyle and futsal training sessions to girls and boys between 4 and 17 years throughout the year. Summer and winter sessions are available during the school holidays. Grinta is led by UEFA, AFC and CAF licensed coaches.
Premier League Football Academy
Premier League Football Academy is led by ex-professional, international footballer, Chuck Martini. The campus offers kids various levels of training from beginner to advanced team programmes, as well as a goalkeeping school. Under 5s to under 19s can train weekdays from 4:45 pm onwards and at weekends from 9 am onwards.
Pro Inter Soccer Qatar
The Pro Inter Soccer Academy offers football training, pro-youth, elite and goalkeeping sessions, league matches and competitions to children aged between 4 and 12 years. Training sessions are held on Friday mornings and Monday evenings at the renown Aspire Dome. Summer and winter camps are available during the school holidays.
Qatar Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation in Qatar fostering community development through the provision of education and opportunities. To this end, the foundation offers football classes, events and tournaments to girls and boys of a variety of ages throughout the year; they are also responsible for the organisation of the Qatar Foundation Junior Football League. To find out when and where classes and events are happening, check out their website.
QSports Football Academy
Established in 2011, QSports offer training for a number of sports disciplines, including football. Football training sessions are offered for girls and boys aged between 4 and 16 years and led by Gambian coach, Pa Malang Ndow.
Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim (SFQ) Sports Academy
Multisport training academy, SFQ, offers football tuition to children aged from 3 to 14 years. Operating out of several locations (Gharafa, West Bay and Wakra), training sessions are mainly held on weekdays from 3:30 pm onwards. The academy also offers winter, summer and half-term camps during the school holidays.
Football in Qatar is extremely popular at all ages, but Qatar recognises the importance of nurturing football at grassroots level, especially youth players. Find out what's on offer for young football players across the nation in our Kids and the Positive Power of Football article.
A veritable army of mini-footballers command pitches across Qatar, with young talents embarking on a journey to an elite sports career.