April 26, 2013
The Saudi Arabia under 17 team will hold a Training Camp in Abu Dhabi from next Saturday 20th of April until the 5th of May. During their stay in the United Arab Emirates, they will play 4 games. The first will be on the 23rd of April against Aljazera, in which the Spanish coach Luis Milla is the coach, the second on the 29th of April against Wehda and the 2nd and 4th of May against UAE.
This will be the Third Training Camp since Ricardo Rodriguez took over the team. The second was in Campoamor (Alicante) and was the prelude to the Focus Tournament in Mallorca. In that tournament the Saudi team was placed in group A with teams like Chertanovo Academy from Russia, Atletico Baleares, RCD Mallorca, Arenal and Fortuna Dusseldorf from Germany. They finished top of the group after beating RCD Mallorca 3:2, they won 3:0 against Fortuna Dusseldorf and got a similar result against the local team Arenal winning 5:0. Against the Russian Academy Chertanovo and Atletico Baleares they obtained 1:1 draws, which helped the team achieve top spot in the group with 11 points.
For the quarterfinals they were paired with the fourth team of group B, which , against the odds, was FCB Barcelona. The Saudi team, in spite of their great performance at the group stage, was not able to beat the Catalan club, and were eliminated from the tournament after losing 4:0.
The next Training Camp will help the squad along, shaping them for the Asia Cup Qualifier in late September and the Gulf Cup to be played in Qatar from the 1st to the 10th of September. With this in mind, the Spanish coach has called up 28 players including 7 players for whom it will be the first time they`ve been called to play in the team. This is as a result of the scouting process that the technical staff have performed during the last months in the different cities of Saudi Arabia.