Ex-Red to see Airtel Finals
Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel will attend the inaugural Airtel Rising Stars African Championships and Soccer Clinic in Nairobi, Kenya.
Schmeichel, who enjoyed a trophy-laden eight-year spell at Old Trafford between 1991 and 1999, was appointed as a club ambassador in July, joining an elite group of former players such as Sir Bobby Charlton, Dwight Yorke, Bryan Robson, Gary Neville and Andy Cole in promoting the club globally.
The ex-goalkeeper will attend the final matches of the championships on 25 August in Nairobi. Airtel and United have an exclusive partnership in several African countries, which enables Airtel to tap into the technical expertise provided by the club through Manchester United Soccer Schools (MUSS) clinics.
The clinics are focused on providing an innovative and specialised training programme that harnesses the natural capabilities of each of the selected young talents from several African countries.
Airtel Africa’s chief marketing officer Andre Beyers said: “The Airtel Rising Stars programme was structured to provide a platform for upcoming talent to showcase their raw talent and improve through interaction with coaches and top players.
“We are delighted that Manchester United has provided the opportunity for Africa’s future stars to interact with a soccer icon of Schmeichel’s stature and experience.”
United’s commercial director Richard Arnold added: “We are pleased to be able to team up with Airtel Africa to bring this fantastic project to Africa. Now in its second year, we hope the programme has gone to enthuse some of Manchester United’s 147 million followers across Africa.
“I am sure the introduction of an intercontinental tournament and the presence of Peter Schmeichel at the first-ever Airtel Rising Stars African Championships final will be an inspirational experience.
“Its popularity has seen the number of registrations overtake those of last year’s tournament, demonstrating the strength of the Airtel and Manchester United partnership.”
MUSS have named the four coaches who will manage the coaching clinic in Nairobi: Matthew Gregory, Michael Beckham, Stuart McClarty and Steve Nixon.
This is the second clinic organised by Airtel and managed by MUSS. The first took place last year in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Libreville, Gabon. The clinic offers budding players training to help them reach their optimum level while learning to play ‘the Manchester United way’.