On the 1st April 2015, in what was a unique and wonderful event for the whole of Egypt and Egyptian football, SATUC hosted their Egyptian trials at the Indoor Hall of Nasr City Club in Cairo. SATUC has been working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Social Solidarity to select the most talented footballers from all around the country to go on and represent Egypt and the inaugural 2015 SATUC Cup held in Cairo in August. In total 123 boys attended the trials, consisting of orphans and other disadvantaged children from 20 different Egyptian provinces, as well as the 15 members of the SATUC Aswan Football Club, who had come through a previous round of competitive trials under the guidance of Tournament Ambassadors. The boys have all experienced incredibly difficult lives; many of the players have grown up in broken homes whilst others have already endured great poverty during their childhoods.
As it was the largest football trial for underprivileged children that has ever taken place, competition was intense for a coveted place in the team. Despite the prize at stake, the trials were contested in good spirit with plenty of teamwork, camaraderie and respect for one’s opponent on display. The selection process was rigorous and after much deliberation and many hard decisions the official selectors reduced the field to a mere 8 boys who will represent Egypt at the 2015 SATUC Cup. Reflecting the significant levels of public interest, the trials were covered by a long list of international media outlets including Dream 2, Alahley, Ten, Alshahed Kuwait, MBC, LTC, Delta Channel, Al-Nahar Sport TV, Alhayah 2, Alhourah, Al-Araby TV, Al Youm 7, with further journalists from Al-Ahram and Al Youm 7 also attending the trials. SATUC would like to thank them for their interest in the project and for the role they play in raising the profile of the 2015 SATUC Cup around the world. In particular special thanks must go to all our Tournament Ambassadors and volunteers for their help in hosting such a unique event. The fact that so many eminent figures took time out of their busy schedules to support these trials, including 2015 SATUC Cup Honorary President Ahmed Hassan and new Tournament Ambassador Shawky Gharib, the former Egypt player and national team coach, is testament to what fantastic project this is and to the amazing work and dedication of SATUC’s founder, Sheikha Al-Thani.
These trials were more than just a means of selecting talent, but an opportunity for every single participant to receive food, water and medical attention. SATUC strongly believes in the power of football as a means of social development and these trials were just another method by which SATUC could provide aid and opportunities to children in desperate need of support.
SATUC Egyptian football players
With the assistance of The Ministry of Solidarity, football trials were held across the Egypt before 130 boys took part at a final trial in Cairo in April. Two of Egypt’s footballing greats, Ahmed Hassan and Nader El Sayed, oversaw them and helped select the final squad.