City Women to face Manchester City Women’s FC in Abu Dhabi


The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) and AABAR Investments (Aabar) bring City Football Group’s women’s teams to Abu Dhabi

Melbourne City’s Championship-winning Westfield W-League team will embark on a week-long post-season tour in Abu Dhabi this month, where they will play Manchester City Women’s Football Club in a friendly match.

The City Football Group sister clubs will face each other in the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy Challenge on Wednesday 17 February at the New York University Abu Dhabi Campus.

The fixture will be broadcast live on both club’s online channels as well as well as Abu Dhabi Sports 1 giving fans across the globe the chance to see the two women’s teams in action.

Head Coach Joe Montemurro will utilise the post-season training camp to introduce the Club’s developing players to additional professional opportunities, with the side training in an elite environment and playing a high-calibre opponent.

A squad of 13 players, who were involved in Melbourne City’s Premiership-Championship double in 2015/16 will depart on Friday, travelling with the Club’s Principal Partner, Etihad Airways, accompanied by full-time support staff from Melbourne’s City Football Academy. The team will be joined by guest train-on players Keelin Winters and Rachel Corsie, taking the total squad to 15 players for the tour.

Staff and players will work directly with their colleagues from Manchester, with both sister clubs training alongside each other at the New York University Abu Dhabi Campus.

“This tour represents an extension of the work we have been able to establish, execute and achieve in our inaugural season in Melbourne and will provide us with insights into Manchester City Women’s FC,” Montemurro said.

“To be able to give our players access to opportunities which will further them as footballers is another positive step in the evolution of our own women’s team in Melbourne.”

As part of MCWFC Pre-Season Training supported by Aabar, the UAE’s under-14 women’s team together with the UAE Women’s Football Committee will take part in a series of technical football clinics delivered by coaches from Manchester City Women. During the sessions participants will have the unique opportunity to train with, and learn from, professional female footballers who play at the highest level of the women’s game.

Facilitated through the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, medical and sports science practitioners from the UAE will shadow experts from Manchester City Women to further study techniques and skills which can be introduced to their working practice to benefit a host of female athletes in the UAE.

For the second successive year Aabar Investments logo will be featured on the training kit of Manchester City Women’s FC. The organisation also continues to support City Football Schools, Manchester City Football Club’s network of international Academies.

Commenting on the visit, Gavin Makel, Head of Women’s Football at Manchester City, said:

“In addition to working with Aabar and FMBA in inspiring more girls to play football, this training camp will be ideal preparation for MCWFC ahead of their inaugural season in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. It will also be a fitting end to a memorable season for our newly crowned W-League Champions Melbourne City Women’s FC”.

Raysa Al Ketbi, Operations Manager, Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, continued:

“As our main focus we look to ensure that sport is an element of daily life for women in the UAE, and so we are extremely pleased that the UAE women’s football community will have the chance to partner with and learn from two elite women’s teams that play at the highest international level. We hope that their visit culminating in the FBMA Challenge will encourage even more girls and women to participate in football which has already become an emblematic sport in our nation”. 

Khaleefa Ahmed Al Mehairi, Business Support Director at Aabar Investments added: “Aabar Investments is thrilled to be able to continue its support of Manchester City Women’s Football Club in bringing them back to Abu Dhabi for their second pre-season, in line with our commitment to empowering female athletes here in the UAE and globally. We are proud that our relationship with the Club can benefit the UAE Women’s National Team”.

Traveling Melbourne City FC Squad (15 players): Brianna Davey (GK), Amy Jackson, Alexandra Chidiac, Beattie Goad, Olivia Ellis, Melina Ayres, Rebekah Stott, Anisa Guarjardo, Marianna Tabain, Trudy Burke, Hannah Brewer, Keelin Winters (guest), Tessa Sernio, Tyla Jay Vlajnic, Rachel Corsie (guest)


About The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA)

The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) is a non-for-profit government entity headed by its Chairperson Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The academy is dedicated to promoting and facilitating women’s sports in the UAE from its capital Abu Dhabi.

FBMA strives to make sports an element of daily life for UAE national women, through the three areas of Sports Events, Community Activities, and Education & Research

The academy aims to set Abu Dhabi on the global map of female sports by hosting a number of international competitions, tournaments and events. Some of which have already been granted spots on the calendars of international federations. 

As its main stream of activity the academy, in its efforts to maintain continuous engagement with the community offers open trainings in a number of different sports, in secure, safe and, private environments. The academy operates these trainings in collaboration with the relevant federations.

It is within the academy’s mission to eventually make all sports available for women to practice in such environments.

With a view to identify and fill the educational gaps that might exist around physical activity in the country, the FBMA has established a dedicated Education and Research Department. Aiming at regular and structured interaction with Emirati society, the Department hosts a series of monthly seminars and sports trainings, while it also runs a number of research projects and case studies that examine the current landscape of women sports in UAE and Abu Dhabi in particular.