From Armadale to Dubai – young player’s big move

From Armadale to Dubai – young player’s big move

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Fleetwood United FC
Fleetwood United FC

Dubai may seem like a million miles away, but the talent scouts at UAE Second Division team Fleetwood United FC have had their eyes on former Armadale midfielder Tarek Atta, signing the twenty-year-old to their squad earlier this month.

Despite the huge achievement, the young player is modest about the move, describing the opportunity as, “just the beginning.”

Speaking from Dubai, where he has been busy getting to grips with the newly formed team, Tarek talked about the life-changing move, his new team, and what the game means to him.

“For me the biggest change is being away from my family,” Tarek said.

“It’s the first time I’ve been away for more than a few weeks.

“It’s a massive change, being in a new city – different environment, different weather, cultures and more.

“The team is young, energetic and hungry – a good bunch of boys from over 13 countries,” he said.

Fleetwood United FC, in their first ever season, are already making waves in the United Arab Emirates football league, earning promotion into Division 2 only weeks ago.

“The strength I bring to the team is definitely my attacking creativity, linking up the play as well as goal-scoring,” Tarek said.

“Communication, work-rate and leadership are also some key attributes I will be bringing to the team.”

Those qualities were on display when Atta attended a two-week try out for the club, scoring goals in all three of the matches he played in.

Despite the good news that resulted from his performance, Tarek’s focus has been singular.

“I never had a chance to celebrate as I believe it is nowhere near the final product of where I want to be,” he said.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity but I still have a long way to go.”

The journey so far has been one Tarek nods to from his current position, pointing to his education at Forrestfield United and Armadale Soccer Club as shaping his game.

“I greatly enjoyed my time in Armadale for the last season,” he said.

“Many of the boys there played at very high levels and it was great to be alongside them and learn.

“I’m also super grateful for my time at Forrestfield United,” Tarek said of the club he spent more than 10 years at.

“I made my first team debut under Graham Normanton. Another key person was Rhys Loxley, he helped me every step of the way.”

Speaking to youngsters looking to follow in his footsteps, Tarek’s advice was simple.

“Always trust the process,” he said.

“No matter what, just focus on the essential aspects of improving every day.

“When your opportunity comes, you will take it.”