Khalfan Mubarak takes a selfie with fans.
Al Jazira’s first-team football stars and head coach took time out from their busy schedule to meet their fans and members of the public during the club’s season launch at Yas Mall on Friday evening.
People of all ages gathered at the spectacular Fan Zone as they got a glimpse of the UAE and foreign players including club captain Ali Khaseif, prolific striker Ali Mabkhout and playmaker Khalfan Mubarak.
There was even more excitement when Al Jazira’s seven summer signings were unveiled to the public for the first time.
The Pride of Abu Dhabi has heavily strengthened the squad with the additions of UAE stars – attacker Omar Abdulrahman, midfielders Amer Abdulrahman, Sultan Al Ghaferi, Brazilian forward Keno, Serbian defender Milos Kosanovic, South African midfielder Thulani Serero and Moroccan forward Mourad Batna.
Making the interactions and event more memorable were the fun challenges that saw the players come up against their team-mates and fans.
Kosanovic, Khaseif, Al Ghaferi and Keno were among those to play foosball while Mohammed Fawzi took on fans with a game of FIFA on the PlayStation.
As well as the players signing autographs and taking pictures with people of all ages, the season launch also saw the players unveil Al Jazira’s new home and away kit.
Head coach Jurgen Streppel also took to the stage for a short Q&A session. With a crucial season ahead, Streppel spoke about what they want to achieve as a team and the importance of Abu Dhabi communities coming together to show their support.
Streppel said: “Thank you to everyone who attended today. Now that the new season is officially underway, we want to win every game and we will do our utmost best to achieve that as well as playing attractive football.
“We have an incredible squad of young and experienced players who are hungry for success. We hope our fans will continue to show their support during our matches just like how they have done today.”
Ayed Mabkhout, CEO of Al Jazira Football Company and board member of the club, said the new signings reflects the ambitions of the club.
He said: “We are thrilled to have strengthened the squad during the summer. They are excellent players and the new signings are a statement of intent. Bringing them on board would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Al Jazira’s leadership. There is plenty of depth and quality within our squad and the players will do everything they can to bring more success to this Football Club.”
The season launch also provided an opportunity to show the public that Al Jazira is more than just a club and engaging with fans is at the forefront of their vision.
Nick Garcia, Group CEO of Al Jazira Club, said: “It is an exciting time for everyone involved at Al Jazira Club. This is true not only for our top-flight football team, but also for the other sports teams that compete with pride under the Al Jazira badge. All are committed to providing exciting moments and a home for our international community. With the support of the club’s leadership and our fans, we look forward to an action-packed season ahead.”
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