Owen joins Afghan FA at SGP

Michael Owen joined a delegation from the Afghan Football Federation to deliver a unique training session at St. George’s Park.

The ‘Knowledge Exchange Visit’ was the centrepiece of a two-year partnership between The FA, Premier League, Afghanistan Football Federation and Afghan Premier League.

The partnership was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron during his visit to Helmand in December 2013.

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Among the group were players, officials and coaches – and Friday’s trip to St. George’s Park followed a visit to Wembley Stadium and 10 Downing Street, with the two nations working together to continue the growth of the game in Afghanistan.

And after Owen had passed on a few playing tips to his Afghan counterparts, the former England international told TheFA.com he was delighted to play a part in such worthy cause.

He said: “I went over to Afghanistan just before Christmas to see the troops and get involved in a football session with locals, plus our troops as well.

“It’s great that The FA does so much for football around the world and it’s wonderful that we can all help lend a hand with our expertise.

“With 150 years of The FA policing our game, hopefully we can pass on some of that knowledge and help other associations like Afghanistan’s develop.

“Football has a history of uniting people and bringing people together. Obviously with the troubles they’ve had over the years it’s wonderful to see that these parties are lending their support.”

Afghan FA visits SGP

Michael Owen with the Afghan FA

Leading the delegation was the President of the Afghan Football Federation, Keramuddin Karim, who expressed his delight at the partnership after watching a training session involving the senior England team.

He said: “This is my first ever trip to England and the hospitality of these people has been amazing and we are all incredibly grateful for it.

“Everything around The FA has been fantastic for us. It was a great opportunity for us to see new things and learn from people here.

“We can take the techniques and practices we’ve seen back to Afghanistan and continue developing the game at home.”

He added: “Two of my favourite players from this country are Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen – one of whom I was able to meet this morning and the other we were lucky enough to have working with us in the afternoon.”

Before heading home the delegation travel north to Manchester where they will attend the Soccerex Global Convention on Monday.

They will then finish their trip with a visit to Manchester City to continue the knowledge-sharing experience at the club’s youth academy the following day.

Michael Owen visits England’s training session