Al Ain duo of Fahad Hadid and goalkeeper Ibrahim Al Kaabi pose with their respective jerseys.
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Al Ain roped in Emirati duo of Fahad Hadid and goalkeeper Ibrahim Al Kaabi to bolster their squad ahead of the new season.
Al Ain’s coach Pedro Emanuel welcomed the new players as he said: “I submitted my report to the technical committee about the needs of the team ahead of the start of the new season.
“We are well aware of the size of the challenges that await us at the local and continental levels. We try to put the team in the best levels of preparations.”
Al Ain are one of the top teams of the UAE and more times than not finish in the top three. When the league was suspended in mid of March due to coronavirus, Shabab Al Ahli were leading the pack with 43 points followed by Al Ain in second and Al Jazira in third with 37 and 36 points respectively.
On the continental stage, Al Ain were in the fourth spot in their group in the AFC Champions League when the tournament ground to a halt.
AFC Champions League resumes in September-October while group matches will be played in full in a round robin format as originally planned, fixtures in the latter stages of the tournament from the round of 16 onwards will be single knockout matches rather than the usual two-legged format. The final will be a single-legged affair in December.
Emanuel added: “Ibrahim and Fahd are good citizens. And as we know there will be enormous challenges ahead as the new season begins and AFC Champions League resumes, therefore, we seek to have a strong squad and a good bench with outstanding players. We need Fahd, who has good potential to live up to the expectations,” he added.
Emanuel also sent out his wishes for the success of both the players Kaabi and Hadid and hoped that the duo would soon gel with the squad.
Hadid also expressed his joy on joining the team, saying: “Al Ain is a great club and I am delighted to join The Boss’s line-up. I have the honour of defending the title of The Boss in leagues and other across other tournaments.”
Kaabi expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Al Ain for handing him a contract and showing their confidence in him, stressing: “I will try to give my best for the honourable appearance in defending the Al Ain logo.”
Al Ain completed the procedures for registering the Brazilian player, Eric de Menezes, within the category of residents, a statement said on Wedesday.
The 19-year-old left-back joins former AFC Champions League winners Al Ain from Porto Alegre Internacional on a three-year deal.
The medical protocol and the precautionary measures were prescribed by the medical committee of the club, which prevents any person coming from outside the country from entering the training ground before conducting a corona examination twice, in addition to staying in isolation for a week.
The player expressed his great happiness at joining the Al Ain line-up. He also expressed his gratitude to the management and coach of the Al Ain team, for the confidence they exuded in him.
Al Ain are pinning hopes on Jorgens to play a vital role in a bid to salvage their 2020 AFC Champions League hopes, with the 13-time UAE champions currently sitting at the fourth spot in Group D.
Meanwhile, Al Ain goalkeeper Khalid Eissa said: “I believe that one of the biggest gains of the past season is to have Emanuel as the team’s head coach.
“It was disappointing that the AGL and President’s Cup were cancelled, given that we were competing to win the titles. We are fully confident that such decisions are taken to serve the best interests of fans and to protect the safety and health of society.”
“We have a good chance to win the league title and all the players know very well the targets of the club. We have great ambitions and we should concentrate in order to win titles this season.”
The 2018-19 season of the Arabian Gulf League is coming to an end. On Sunday, the teams fight for a different goal as they battle for a spot in next season’s AFC Champions League. Going into the final day of the UAE league season,
Al Ain will look to close gap on leaders Shabab Al Ahli when they take on Hatta in the 17th round match as the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) resumes on Thursday after a three-week break.
The announcement comes in line with the objectives of Dubai Vision 2021, which aims to strengthen Dubai's position as a preferred place to live and work.
This series is being played under special protocols because of the global coronavirus outbreak, with the PCB statement adding the decision to isolate Hafeez had been taken "for his and, the safety and security of everyone around him."
The UAE is set to add another feather to its cap by hosting the cricket’s biggest extravaganza – Indian Premier League (IPL) – at the time of the pandemic after the clearance by the Indian government.