Kalba bolster squad with dual signing - GulfToday

Kalba bolster squad with dual signing


Ahmad Lotfy poses with Ittihad Kalba’s officials during the unveiling ceremony.

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter

Ittihad Kalba made their intent clear with the third signing of the season as they roped in Fahd Sabeel to bolster their squad further on Friday. Sabeel will join the Tigers next season from rival club Fujairah, who are at the bottom of the standings in the league with just 12 points from 19 games.

Sabeel has a long sprawling career in the Arabian Gulf League (AGL), with almost a decade of experience across all the domestic competitions.

Sabeel has played for almost all big clubs of the UAE since he made his league debut back in 2010 with Al Nasr. After completing one season with Al Nasr, he joined Bani Yas on loan the following year before coming back to his previous club again in the next season. He was signed by Al Shaab in 2015-16 before joining Fujairah in 2018 and has been with them since.

Kalba are banking on his domestic experience as they are fighting hard to stay afloat in the league. Kalba also completed the signing of home-grown talent Ahmed Lotfy of Egypt, who has been kept in the category of state-born children.

This was their third signing of the club in this transfer window apart from handing out one-year extension to their coach Jorge da Silva. Earlier, Kalba brought in the Italian defender Gabriel Santini to boost their defence.

Kalba seem to be planning to return to action in full throttle when the action resumes in the league. As the season was stopped due to the pandemic in mid-March with seven rounds still remaining, it is likely to restart in August again. However, no dates have been declared for the resumption.

Earlier, in order to provide more stability to the team, Kalba renewed the contract of their coach da Silva for another season.

He has been entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the team for the next season. Currently Kalba are in the danger zone. They are on the 11th spot in the 14-team league with 16 points from 19 games. They have lost 13, drawn one and won five out of their 19 games so far when the season came to a halt due to the coronavirus.

Da Silva was roped in by Kalba last year in a bid to revive their faltering campaign. He had replaced Firas Jabbas, who was struggling to keep the team’s campaign on track and there were growing fears that they could be relegated to second tier.

When Da Silva took over the situation was very gloomy and the club was facing a streak of losses one after the other. The morale of the team was at its nadir. They were at the bottom of the standings both in the AGL and the Arabian Gulf Cup.

However, after Da Silva took over, there was some turnaround in the fortunes of the club: they rose to the 11th spot from the bottom.

The biggest challenge for the new Argentine coach was to end the skid and instil self-belief in the players. They desperately needed a morale-boosting win to revive their campaign across all the competitions.

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