The Football Academy has forayed into a third division of its academy branded as Elite Performance Centre (EPC) deemed as a football club to compete at the professional level. The players here are carefully selected and scouted with the aim of continuously developing a spirited team of world-class players. 

The EPC program is built around high-level competition for players aged 16-23, our curriculum is built around the 4 cornerstones of football: Psychology, Physical fitness, Technique, and Tactics. Each of these elements helps players’ overall development and soccer skills but most importantly their ability to approach situations from a new angle – look for different solutions.

Board of Advisors


Ali El Jishi

Founder and COO

Coach Fouad

Head of TFA Academy

Saqib Iqbal

Saqib Iqbal

Financial Advisor

Steve McCafferty

Commercial Advisor

Join the Trailblazers

Strong Team Builders of EPC

The Football Academy (TFA), a niche soccer academy headquartered in Dubai, coaches the most elite players by focusing equally on technical, tactical, fitness, and mental strength. Since its inception, the academy has been identifying the best local football talent in Dubai, developing these talented players, and taking them to the highest level of football. The EPC team will be headed by Coach Danny Guthrie and mentored by Coach Ali El Jishi.

Danny, a UEFA coach who heads TFA’s Elite Performance Centre, is working on 1 on 1 coaching to speed up development and elevate an athlete’s game. Having an extensive 20 years of experience in professional football, he uses his real-life journey to motivate and guide the teams and share practical tips. He aims to take young players from all over the world and develop them individually and create a team that at first can compete in division 3 and eventually promote to division 2. They will prepare to progress into better and bigger leagues in the football world. 

Coach Osama has been in TFA last 2 years as a coach of U 15 and U 17 and next season he will be stepping up as Assistant Coach of EPC team with Coach Danny. As they prepare the EPC, U15, and U17 for professional-level training and skill – their focus will be on the holistic growth and development of the players. Coach Osama’s well known for his balanced approach on the field, with referees, and sets a great example for the players.


With a reputation for developing young men into elite soccer players, Ali has created many pathways to create a route for players to get exposure to professional academies and secure their professional careers in soccer. He believes that football teaches discipline, camaraderie, and the basics of fitness. TFA’s journey towards division 3 is to continue developing players on pathways, ensuring the focus on young players grooms them for playing organised football against other division 3 players who are 30-years-old as of today.

Leigh Ralph

Leigh Ralph comes with an abundance of coaching and goalkeeping experience. He has been coaching in the UAE for two years. Previously, he coached in the UK as well and brings a wealth of goalkeeping experience both from Ireland & the UK. In addition to his, he has over two decades of professional playing experience that he gained from his time in Ireland & the UK. Now, he wants to pass on his knowledge to the upcoming players to help them reach the top. He has been successfully training many young athletes and feels very strongly about the game.

Go beyond the thrill of playing

Football is a game of suspense and excitement. With time, it has gained global traction, not only because of the entertainment that it provides but also because it is a highly competitive sport with several benefits catering to health and motor skills.

With the sole purpose of producing talented football players, TFA understands that playing the game can help children develop social skills, make new friendships, improve their self-confidence and self-esteem, and learn respect, teamwork, loyalty, discipline, and hard work. From Little Boots to U-23, the academy has been working towards becoming world champions and a home for the world’s best talent with commitment and passion.



Our Sponsors/Partners

Let’s Talk