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GEMS Winchester School partners with Fursan Hispania FC & ESM to offer football training for students

The partnership includes the construction of a new nine-a-side Astroturf football pitch complete with floodlights, two padel tennis courts and a padball court, all available for use by students at the school

Dubai, Jan 24, 2022: GEMS Winchester School – Dubai (WSD) has partnered with Fursan Hispania FC and ESM to develop football provision. ESM is the sports services provider while Fursan Hispania FC, the football academy, is owned by former Spain international and Real Madrid player Michel Salgado.

As part of a five-year operational contract, Fursan Hispania FC has gained exclusive access to use WSD’s two full-size pitches in the evenings for its club members and for its professional team player training sessions. 

It also includes the construction of a new nine-a-side Astroturf football pitch complete with floodlights, two padel tennis courts and a padball court, all available for use by students at the school.

Fursan Hispania FC will run its specialised football academy, training camps and tournaments, as well as after-school programmes for WSD students. Teachers at the school, meanwhile, will also benefit from continuing professional development (CPD) delivered by the club’s expert coaches.

One of the first events hosted at WSD as a result of the partnership was a specialised goalkeeper camp run by Iker Casillas Academy. 

Michel Salgado of Fursan Hispania FC says “We are excited by this unique project as it provides the space for both the school and our football club to grow together in a very positive synergy. Creating one of the largest football centres in Dubai, with two full-size pitches, one nine-a-side pitch, a foot-tennis area and two padel tennis courts, was the step we had to take in order to push our club to the next level.”

Matthew Lecuyer, Principal & CEO, GEMS WSD, says “This is an exciting and unique opportunity to work alongside professional World Cup-winning footballers and coaches. WSD students and staff will benefit by learning from, and being exposed to, a professional football club, enabling sporting excellence and development to be embedded into our everyday learning. We welcome this exciting opportunity for not only our students but also our staff, now and into the future.”

James Bowring, Commercial and Operations Director, ESM, says “The partnership between Fursan Hispania FC, GEMS WSD and ESM is unique in this sector. The school will not only benefit from sports facilities but will also have a professional football club and coaches embedded in the school to support the long-term development of football for students – something that has never been seen before.”

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