Interview with Head Coach Firas Majed

-    As a head coach in the newest Athletico branch in Jnah, how do you describe the branch’s progress?

We started operating at WFC Jnah with around 100 players and now have around 150. Parents in the club have been truly supportive and enthusiasts with our unique way of operating and have been our biggest … in the region. Our goal is to work on developing grassroots in depth in this region where we see great potential and raise the level of the teams there to soon start competing in the major local & international tournaments.

-    What is your advice to young players?

With the technology taking over, I highly recommend the young generation to take care of their body, by not giving up on sports, have a good nutrition and sleep well. I also advise our football players to always give their best, and never give up. 

-    Last year you traveled with Athletico teams to the international U10 Rhodia Cup & U12 Tournoi Vestiaires, how do you describe the academy’s level in comparison with the professional clubs participating?

Last year, was the first time our U10 and U12 participate in an elite tournament among top clubs like Manchester United, Olympique Lyonnais, Ajax and more. The level is definitely world class, and yet I was honestly impressed of the performance of our teams. The competition pushed them to surpass their limits and motivated them beyond expectations. If we keep working at the pace we have set ourselves, we are effectively closing the gap between us and the top European clubs.

-    Do you think Lebanon will ever get the chance to participate in the World Cup?

In my opinion, Lebanon taking part of the World Cup is at the moment a challenging and difficult option. This would depend on a lot of elements out of our control. However, I can say with all confidence that the development of grassroots football is raising the level of the game nationally at an unprecedented rate, and that can give us hope for the future. 

-    Who’s your favorite soccer player

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but if I had too, I’ll choose the Brazilian Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane

-    In your opinion what makes Athletico the leading football academy in Lebanon?

First of all, behind this leading academy, there are people with a great vision, who focus on long term objectives and have innovative and great ideas. Furthermore, our coaching development program makes us stand out in terms of coaching techniques between all other Lebanese academies. The combination of both professional staff and visionary management differentiates us and makes us leaders in Lebanon. 

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