The Boss Resume Preparations for the “Commandos” Confrontation and Quit Zagreb’s Friendly Match.. Saudi Arabia’s Al Ettifaq Abandons Broadcasting the Match


Al Sahbani: Friendly Matches Are Not Suitable to Assess the Team’s Performance

Fighting Spirit and Accountability are the Logos of the Team in the New Season

Al Ain Squad Have Full Confidence that the Ainawi Nation Could Make the Difference

As part of the second stage of the ongoing Al Ain FC preseason away training camp in Slovenia kicked off on 28 July until 13 August 2019, players resumed their preparations for their second friendly match of Slovenia’s camp against Saudi Arabia’s Al Ettifaq scheduled to be held at the Ghrenia Radgna Stadium on Sunday evening.

As for the team’s friendly match against dynamo Zagreb scheduled to be held on 10 August 2019, Matar Obaid Al Sahbani, Team Manager, stated that the game is canceled. “The management of Dynamo Zagreb FC insisted on holding the match in Zagreb. Indeed, the city is far away from the Boss training camp and needs time to arrive at the stadium given the time needed to process the players’ documents upon arrival at the borders entry points. We will arrange for an alternative friendly match once we are done with Al Ettifaq on Sunday 4 August, and Croatia’s Astra friendly match on 7 August 2019.”

“The team’s preparations in the away camp are going well and on the right track following the end of the first stage of the camp held in Austria,” Al Sahbani stated. He pointed out: “Ivan Leko is so satisfied by the team performance as the international players along with Abdul Rahman Meziane and Laba Kodjo have joined the team recently. He is also happy with the high level of commitment and seriousness of all the squad during the morning and evening training sessions, besides the great positive results of their friendly matches.” He stressed that the atmosphere of the camp is so stimulating and leads to gain the desired goals. “All these factors assure us to achieve the desired goals and gains and to have a promising new season.”

Al Sahbani expressed his deep appreciation for the efforts exerted by the Board of Directors of Al-Ain Football Club, headed by Dr. Matar Rashid Al Darmaki. “He, along with the board members, Salim Mohammed Al Junaibi and Matar Ghumran Al Dhahiri, were so keen to visit the camp and meet all members of the team to discuss relevant issues.”

Commenting on a question on his assessment of the team’s performance during their friendlies, he stated: “The goal of organizing friendly matches is not only to achieve positive results but also to determine how well the players benefit from the training sessions including technical, physical and mental aspects. Indeed, these are the actual issues which the coach is focusing on. However, friendlies are not the standard against which we assess the team’s performance in the new season.”

Al Sahbani added: “As I stated earlier, the head coach is highly satisfied with the team’s performance during the friendly matches. As you know, Al Ain squad played two matches in the first stage of the training camp. The first was against Slovenia’s Celje and ended by 3-0 in favor of our team, and the end of the first half suspended the second one due to heavy showers of rain and hailstones. The third match was held during the second stage of the away cam and was against Saudi Arabia Al Fateh and ended by goalless draw.”

“The head coach was keen during all the past games to have two different starting lineups to give a chance for each player to play a full 45 minutes. He gave Mohammed Abdul Rahman “Ajab” a 24-hour break after Al Fateh match for being away from the field due to injury. Ajab is currently doing his best to boost his skills and high performance. The head coach knows well the player’s capacities and quality skills. As for Laba Kodjo and Abdul Rahman Meziane, they need more time to acclimate with their teammates and the system. It is too early to judge their performance, given their high skills. The head coach is sure that they were able to make the difference during their presence with the team in the camp.”

Al Sahbani underlined that all the players enjoy the sense of responsibility and the spirit of fighting and they will be the team’s weapons in the new football season. “Everybody here is fully confident that the Ainawi Nation will be up to it. They could make the difference through their continuous and massive support of the squad in the coming season through their presence in the standings behind the team or via the various social media platforms.”

Al Sahbani concluded by responding to a question on the status of players who enrolled in the rehabilitation and recovery programs. He confirmed that Mohammed Ahmed still needs more time to recover and he is doing his best to rejoin the squad by mid-August. He also stated that Bandar Al Ahbabi is doing well. He said that he is waiting for the green light from the team’s doctor to join the training sessions in the few coming days.