DUBAI // After a year and a half at Al Ahli, Ivan Hasek has decided turn the page on the "most beautiful" chapter of his life, saying that the club need a change to progress further. Hasek, who guided Ahli to the Pro League title last month and also won the President's Cup last year and the season-opening Super Cup, turned down a the club's offer of a new contract on Tuesday. He has returned to the Czech Republic to consider his future.
"I would have loved to continue with Ahli for another season at least, if not longer, and lead the team at the Fifa Club World Cup," he said. "The one and a half years I have spent here are the most beautiful of my life. "Life in Dubai was great and I had a very good working relationship with the club board, particularly the chairman Suleiman Khalifa. I had every support I needed to achieve our goals and win titles.
"But after one and a half years here, I think it is better to leave. Sometimes a change is good for the team." Hasek has an offer from a club in Qatar and the Czech football federation are also keen to bring him on board as part of Frantisek Straka's backroom staff on their national team. "I have not decided anything at the moment," he said. "I am going to take a two-week break, spend some time with my family. After that I will decide about my future.
"However, this does not mean the end of my association with Dubai and Ahli. I have a house here and I will keep visiting, and for sure you will see me at Ahli as well every time I come here." Hasek hoped Ahli will keep the squad together for next season and not allow any of their promising youngsters to leave. "We have a young side and it is important we keep them together," he said. firstname.lastname@example.org