Kuala Lumpur to Host Prestigious TFA Global Football Talent Showcase

ByHammad Hassan

Taking place on June 24 and June 25, event will offer standout participants a contract and a chance to play in UAE’s football league

KUALA LUMPUR – The Football Academy (TFA), a Dubai-based football academy renowned for its global outreach in identifying and nurturing football talent, is once again setting its sights on Kuala Lumpur for its latest talent showcase.

This year’s showcase, slated to take place on June 24 & 25 will offer standout participants a professional contract and a chance to play for TFA Elite in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Professional Football League.

Along with this coveted contract, players receive a comprehensive package that includes accommodation, food, and transportation while in Dubai.

TFA’s chief executive officer Ali El Jishi said the initiative is aimed at giving exposure to aspiring footballers from broken football systems across the world.

“We started as an academy, and a couple of years ago we entered the UAE Pro League with the aim of identifying and accelerating the growth of football talent across the globe.

“Each time we have a programme, we roughly get about 250 participants, and we filter them down to 25 players before we shortlist them to the final stages.

“We recently had the chance to help two Argentinian players build careers in Lithuania and Croatia. We make them train with some of the top players and ensure they get a chance to play professional football.

“We aim to give exposure to these players where the football systems in their countries are broken. In Ethiopia, for example, where football is at a subzero level, players are so talented but don’t have the opportunity to make use of their talent. So, we pay for their flights, train them, and make them into classy players.

“In Malaysia, there are many talented players, but not all the clubs are ready to bring them on board. Hence, we will be giving them an opportunity and make sure that when they return to their country, they are stronger in their gameplay than ever,” said Ali.

Ali, who is also a renowned football recruiter, mentioned that 18-year-old Daniel Ren-Yi was one of the best Malaysian talents that his club scouted during their talent showcase in Kuala Lumpur last year.

He added that Daniel, who is Australian with Malaysian parentage, went on to make a total of 13 appearances for TFA Elite, and has the potential to one day play for the Malaysian national football team.

“Daniel was brought to the club last year, and he’s been an exceptional talent since the first day he came to the club. His technical strength and game intelligence are something I have rarely seen from a Malaysian player.

“But we made sure that he spent six months in the second team, as physical strength was one of the biggest challenges in his gameplay. Since then, he has made it into the first team and has become one of the main players on the team. We have given him a contract extension.

“Even before we selected him, he was already so good that he even had a trial with Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT). But unfortunately, he was not selected there.

“But I can confidently say that now, with the experience he has, he can definitely play for the national team or the under-23 team in the years to come,” Ali added.

TFA, a club in the UAE’s Professional Football League – Division 3 and recognized by FIFA, competes in the league with a total of 14 clubs, including Al Ethihad, Al Gharbia, Arabian Falcons, and Sporting Dubai.

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