DUBAI // Rene Marsiglia is hoping he can stay at Dubai club "not for a month or two" but for years and turn the club's young talents into a formidable force.
The Al Aweer club have turned to the former boss of the French club Nice after surviving the fall last season, when they finished 10th, three points ahead of Emirates. Dubai had four different coaches in the dugout through the season. The Argentine Nestor Clausen lasted just one official game and made way for his assistant Umberto Barberis.
Ion Marin was given the job in October, but the Romanian lasted just over two months and Egyptian Ayman Al Ramadi took over the and guided the team to safety with a late surge that saw Dubai win nine points from their last four Pro League matches.
Marsiglia, who was dismissed by Nice at the end of last season despite saving them from relegation, is now hoping he can carry that momentum forward and build a strong team. But the Frenchman asked for patience and time.
"I hope my stay here will not be for a month or two or three, but for years, so that I can work on the plans I have for this team," Marsiglia said after his first training session with the team, on Monday.
"I watched videos of the team before accepting this offer and I believe there is a lot of potential.
"We have a good group of young players with a bright future and I am confident we can build a strong team here. I believe we can achieve good results and I will do my best, work as hard as I must, to reach the levels we want to be at."
Marsiglia, who has a one-year deal with Dubai, has started on his job earlier than any other Pro League club as he wants to get familiar with his players and then plan accordingly for the next season. He also has no plans to ask for new players, foreign or local, till he has evaluated the current lot.
The club's expatriate players from last season, the forward Abubakr Camara and the midfielders Simon Feinduono, Nicolas Marin and Abbas Atwi, are out of contract. The club also lost Hassan Mohammed, the forward who led all Emiratis in league goals, with nine, to Al Nasr.
"There is still a long way to the start of the season, enough time for us to plan our strategies," Marsiglia said. "Our training sessions for the first week will be purely recreational so that I can get familiar with all the players and then we will decide on our next step and the destination for the pre-season camp.
"I have been having meeting with the management to see where we stand in terms of our contracts with players, but I will not put any pressure on signing a particular player."
Elsewhere, Sharjah, who finished at the bottom of the Pro League table last season, have failed in their bid to sign the Ghana international Harrison Afful from Tunisian club Esperance. Sharjah were confident of bringing in the 26-year-old defender, but Esperance managed to convince Afful to stay on.
Sharjah have released 15 players after their disappointing season and are trying to assemble a new squad under the Tunisian coach Faouzi Benzarti for September's four-team play-offs.
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