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Abdalla M. Taryam: Your coach is on the phone
December 04, 2010
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Finally, I have caught up with technology and bought myself an iPhone 4. This comes right after experimenting with a gifted iPad for less than 2 months. Yes, I admit I have become the tech-junkie I thought I would never be.

It was only a few months ago that I swore never to get rid of my only-makes-phone calls-type Nokia, and now that I have the ultimate gadget in my hands I couldn’t wait to start downloading the football applications.

Filtering through numerous recommendations I selected 3 very essential football applications for any avid follower; Livescore, Stats MatchCenter and Livesports24 Football.

Content with my final selections I went about my days achieving what my friends never thought possible; finding ways to busy myself with football when there isn’t any football being played. It’s their fault really, for introducing me to this technology.

Now those apps are great for fanatics like me who want all the details and statistics as they happen but what about all the kids who just don’t want to enjoy playing football but are also taken by this gadget hype? Well there are a few decent games out there but if you are looking for something special, take a look at the ‘cityecademy’ application.

First launched as an online portal in August of this year, Manchester City’s revolutionary phone app takes football training to a new level.

In a pioneering move Manchester City Football Academy has given youngsters around the world access to professional coaching. With the aid of videos uploaded onto their site or through the phone app, users can watch the very best players perform drills while giving out instructions. The likes of Roque Santa Cruz and Kolo Toure, along with youth academy players and their coaches, guide you through a series of training exercises that can be replicated at your own convenience.

During a conversation with Peter Lowe, Head of Education and academy coach at Manchester City Football Club, I was informed that this fascinating project ‘is designed to help young players around the globe achieve their potential and develop their footballing skills. It provides access to coaching from some of the best coaches and players in the world and puts this access right at their fingertips.’

He described the application as ‘a key advisory tool’ that can be used by youngsters that don’t have access to professional tutoring or as ‘an additional asset’ to those who have the privilege.

The multiple training videos cover core technical areas such as passing, dribbling and shooting among others. It also provides physical training modules, which help improve agility, endurance and speed.

Now I understand some sceptics may feel that this is not the best way to teach a sport, but even an old fashioned guy like me can recognise the importance of computers and technology in the lives of youth today. This is certainly a way to entice kids to swap the game console for this innovative instrument that will allow them to get out and do some physical activity. 

I’ve actually gone out with my iPhone and a newly acquired Jabulani ball and experienced first hand some of the demanding exercises. It has taught me a couple of new tricks that I plan to use the next time I kick about with my friends. It is truly an original blend of football entertainment and education that is accessible to all.

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