Manchester United legend Ronny Johnsen has officially launched the inaugural Manchester United Soccer Schools (MUSS) programme in Dubai at an event at Repton School, where the new programme will be based.
The Norwegian centre back kick started the new 10 week course which will teach Dubai’s seven to 16 year olds the skills and techniques of current first team players Paul Scholes, Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick.
Johnsen made 99 appearances for the Red Devils, between 1996 and 2002, alongside 62 caps for his native Norway. His arrival in the UAE comes as hundreds of children in Dubai and Abu Dhabi prepare to start the new soccer school season.
A Manchester United Ambassador, Johnsen took part in an event at Repton School, the new Dubai venue for MUSS, alongside Peter Nicholls, MUSS coach, Jonathan Hughes D’Aeth, Repton School Headmaster, and Bambang Sugeng Bin Kajairi, Chief Executive Officer of Reem Investments, the Abu Dhabi company which signed a partnership with MUSS in 2010.
After watching a football lesson with Repton pupils, Johnsen headed to Abu Dhabi and donned his boots once more to take part in a taster training session at the MUSS ground at the Dome@Rawdhat.
He told the children about the importance of hard work, discipline and dedication. These, he said, were the most important attributes of professional footballers.
“Ronny Johnsen’s six years at Manchester United helped the club to four league titles during that period. He was also an instrumental part of the famous 1999 treble winning team,” said Bin Kajairi.
“It is these achievements which make him an ideal role model and inspiration for the latest crop of children we will welcome to the new MUSS course.”
Peter Nicholls, Head Coach at MUSS Dubai added, “The children will learn the same techniques displayed by Manchester United players and have the opportunity to develop these techniques in small sided game situations.
“Everything we do at MUSS relates back to the Club’s first team players. We believe that this is a very effective way of gaining understanding and getting positive results from the children.”
‘Combine to Attack’ begins in Dubai at Repton School on Friday 5 October and in Abu Dhabi on Saturday 29 September at the Dome@Rawdhat.
All children enrolled will take part in the MUSS series of skills challenges with the top two point scorers from the UAE Skills Final receiving an all expenses paid trip to Manchester to represent the UAE in the World Skills Final at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground as well as the world famous Old Trafford stadium in 2013.
Featuring 12.5 hours of on-field coaching by certified MUSS coaches, the first programme costs AED1,650 and includes an exclusive Nike Manchester United training kit and giveaway pack as well as catch-up sessions and individual player evaluation. Special discounts are available to siblings, twice a week enrolments and those who sign up for more than one 10-week course.
To learn more about the MUSS programmes in Dubai and Abu Dhabi call 02 449 8480 or 050 662 7701 or visit www.manutdsoccerschools.ae.
Photo caption: From left, Paul Fernandez from Reem Investments; Tony Byrne from Manchester United Soccer Schools, Ronny Johnson, Manchester United Ambassador, Khalid Al Muhairy, Chairman of Repton School and Jonathan Hughes-D'Aeth, Headmaster of Repton School.