Armadale youngsters head for Dubai
Armadale youngster Tarek Atta impressed in his stint at Alfred Skeet Reserve, helping the club to the Australia Cup round of 32 and the State League Cup Final, and he has headed overseas, after signing a deal at newly promoted Fleetwood United in Dubai, the club recently winning promotion to the UAE Second Division following a sensational play-off victory against Sport Support last weekend. Armadale Head Coach John O’Reilly wished him all the best. “Tarek came in late in pre-season, but was a big contributor to our squad, and scored some important goals for us,” he said. “From everyone at the club we wish him all the best in Dubai.”
Atta, who played at Forrestfield United in 2021, before heading to the Reds, said the opportunity to play overseas is a huge challenge, but one he is looking forward too. “I’m really excited for the opportunities that are available in a city that has many ex and current top professional players around and watching,” he explained. “It’s just the beginning for me though, so its head down and focused now. The move came about from my interest to play abroad and get experience outside of Perth in my football career, and after my agent alerted me about the opportunity, I jumped at the chance.”
The Dubai based sister club of UK side Fleetwood Town, will now play fellow promotion winners Gulf United on Friday evening for the Championship trophy. It’s an incredible feat for the club who are in their first ever season after being founded less than a year ago by Town chairman Andy Pilley, who had flown over to Dubai with CEO Steve Curwood to witness the promotion first hand. Goals from Samuel Njangui and Malick Ndiaye sealed a 2-1 win on the night and a 4-2 aggregate victory in the end-of-season play-offs after the side topped Group B of the UAE Third Division.
They will now face Gulf United, managed by former Newcastle United and Wellington Phoenix skipper Steven Taylor, on Friday evening to compete for the league title. Atta said he is looking forward to his first game for the club next month, but he thanks Armadale for the opportunity last season. “I’m very appreciative of the opportunity to have played at Armadale last season, which was my first season in NPL men’s football,” he said. “It was a great season, spent with highly experienced players and coaches that helped develop my game significantly. To make it to the round of 32 in the Australia Cup and reach the State League Cup Final was a highlight of the season. I wish the club all the best in the future and I’m confident they will be a strong contender in the NPL next season.”