4 Football Fields Named After Al Ain’s Legends.. Al Ain’s Late Icons in the Memory of “Ainawi Nation” and the Academy Prominent Facilities
Al Ain Club named four football fields of Al Ain Football Academy (1-2-3-4) after 4 of its deceased football stars with imminent impressive achievements in a step aimed at confirming Al Ainawi’s sincere loyalty to those who left a very important mark during their professional career in the “Purple” Fort. The names selected are the French coach who converted to Islam prior his death, Abdul Karim Metsu, and the former stars Mahdi Ahmed, Salem Saeed and Fahd Al Nawais, may Allah rest their souls in peace.
The details of the decision were unveiled in the presence of H.E. Ghanim Mubarak Al Hajeri, Chairman of Al Ain Club Football Company, Sultan Rashid, Board of Directors Member and Sports Director of the Football Company, along with members of the technical and administrative staff of Al Ain Football Academy, including Abdullah Ali, Administrative Manager, Ali Khamis, Technical Manager, Khalfan Zayed, U-15 Team Administrative Manager, Ahmed Marzouq Al Nuaimi, U-12 Team Administrative Manager and Mohammed Zaher, Technical Secretary of Al Ain Football Academy.
During the ceremony dedicated to launch the imitative, Al Hajeri was so keen to honor Saleh, Hussein and Ali sons of the late “Mahdi Ahmed”, along with Saif, son of the late Salem Saeed Al Ameri. The honoring event was a stunning depiction of the concept of loyalty to the people of giving. The symbolic ceremony ended by handing over Al Ain Jersey with No. 12 used to be worn by late Saeed Al Ameri for his son Saif and Jersey No. 18 used to be worn by the late Mahdi Ahmed for his three sons.
Al Hajeri stated in this occasion: “Al Ain Club is wholeheartedly keen to realize the vision of Al Ain Club’s Leadership on promoting communication channels with everybody and serve the community until this lofty entity has become an impressive model which the biggest sports institutions in Asia have been calling for all member clubs to follow its track.”
“We, as Ainawis, are experiencing an exceptional situation that makes us always restate that our loyalty to our club is “different”. This is because our loyalty is linked to the conscience and sincere feelings towards this entity, which is distinguished by its leadership, values, principles and its loyal fans. Therefore, the creative initiatives of the club will continue throughout the history as they enjoy the full care and support of the top level of management of this entity.” He underlined: “Today we are proud to name four football fields after a number of those who contributed to the eternal achievements associated with the history of the club prior they left this worldly life leaving behind them stunning career history, namely Coach Abdul Karim Metsu and Fahd Al Nawais, Mahdi Ahmed and Salem Saeed. By this, they join the most prominent features of the Club in the Football Academy facilities which represent an important stage in the journey of establishing and forming the current generation and generations to come as they hold the names of the most prominent legends and the loyal sons of Al Ain Club who gave a lot to their club. Indeed, everyone attests that they were well mannered, congenial and loving good for all.”
In his turn, Sultan Rashid expressed his appreciation for the sincere efforts exerted by his brothers, Members of the Board of Directors of Al Ain Club Football Company headed by H.E. Ghanem Al Hajeri, to practically realize the Club’s vision and values. He emphasized: “Al Ain Club is committed to activate its significant role and this was proved on ground by holding the Second Forum of Legends, which witnessed the gathering of the club’s loyal sons of various generations in the presence of H.E. Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, President of the General Authority for Sport, earlier this month.”
Sultan Rashid stressed that naming the football fields of the Academy after Al Ain Club’s legends embodies the concept of loyalty to the people of giving. He expressed his boundless satisfaction of the interaction of the sons of Mahdi Ahmed and Salem Said and their keenness to attend the ceremony dedicated to name certain landmarks of Al Ain Football Academy after their fathers’ names wishing them all the best in their lives.
“Al Ain Club’s leadership has developed a successful strategy for the club and commitment to this strategy makes the club keep pace with indicators of development and achieve the highest levels of success, not only at the level of sports, but at all levels. By this, the club represents the concept of the comprehensive club,” Sultan Al Rashed said.
Sone of the late Salem Saeed, stated: “Al Ain Club’s initiative has a positive impact on him and all his family members. Indeed, such creative initiatives are expected to be carried out by this big entity.” He added: “We are so proud to have the name of our father fixed at the gate of the academy’s football filed No. 3 in recognition of his contribution along with his former mates in underlining Al Ain’s history of gold in the era of the eighties.”
“My family members were so happy to get to know the decision of Al Ain Club Management. Certainly, words of appreciation for the leadership of this entity and its Board of Directors are not sufficient,” said Saif Salem Saeed. He pointed out: “Personally, I was a player in the club’s junior teams and I know well the value of each and every facility of the Academy. It is a fact that naming one of the fields after my late father’s name sustains my feelings of honor and pride as I see it an appreciation to every member of this lofty entity.”
Replying to a question on his late father’s milestones in his football career with Al Ain Club, he said: “My father was a defensive midfielder and right midfielder. I still keep his many photos and medals he had won with his teammates during that era. I cannot tell you how happy and proud I am with each match he played on behalf of the club because it is by itself a story and represents a special milestone in his career with this big club.” He concluded by saying: “One of the prominent championships he was crowned with its trophy is the Arabian Gulf League in 1992/1993 season.”
Honor and Pride
Saleh Mahdi Ahmad, son of the late Mahdi Ahmad, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the leadership of Al Ain Club and its Board of Directors of the Football Company. He underscored: “We get to used that Al Ain Club adopts praiseworthy initiatives and to honor the sons of loyal members of the club as a genuine illustration of its superb values. Again, I thank all those who contributed to the success of this decent initiative.”
He added: “We were overwhelmed by feelings of pride and happiness when the Club Management notified us by their initiative to honor my late father and to name football field No.2 after his name. indeed, it is not the first time that the Club honors my late father, as we were honored on the sidelines of ceremonies held celebrating winning the title of the League for the 10th time five years ago. I cannot tell how proud we are for our father was one of the members of this lofty entity.”
On his late father’s journey with the Club, he stated: “He contributed along with his teammates to win the title of the joint league in 1982/1983 season when Al Ain was crowned with the title of the league twice.” He went on to say: “At that time I was not born yet, but I still remember his days when he was one of the administrative staff of the Club during 1990/1997 when Al Ain snatched the title of the league twice. We still keep lots of photo albums of my late father and the medals he won during his service with the club as a player and an administrative officer.”
He concluded his statement saying that: “My father did contribute in the efforts of the team to win the title of the second and third leagues in 1980/1981 and 1983/1984 season and the fourth and fifth leagues respectively in 1992/1993 and 1997/1998 seasons.”