AL AIN // Cosmin Olaroiu, the coach of the Pro League champions Al Ain, hopes to keep his team together for a broader assault on domestic and regional trophies next season.
The club's first order of business will be a decision on Asamoah Gyan, the on-loan Sunderland striker, whose 17 goals are best in the league. Gyan's future, which may be decided in the next few days, could include Al Ain buying him.
"I hope Asamoah will continue at Al Ain," said Olaroiu, whose contract includes a second year. "He's happy here, like all our international players, and they are fantastic players."
He spoke highly of Yasser Al Qahtani, the Saudi international, who scored both goals in a 2-0 title-clinching victory over Al Jazira on Friday. "He is a player who does well in finals and big games," Olaroiu said. "He showed his excellence."
He added that the Romanian midfielder Mirel Radoi "also had a great match" and included Ignacio Scocco, the Argentina forward, when he said: "I hope all of them continue at Al Ain."
Olaroiu said rewarding Al Ain's fans, who provided most of the capacity crowd of 15,187, was a priority for him. "Our goal was to make people happy, and today we made many people happy because Al Ain have the biggest number of fans. We made more than 100,000 fans happy."
Meanwhile, Ricardo Oliveira, the Jazira's Brazilian striker, says their focus is now on topping their Asian Champions League group.
Jazira have already qualified for the knockout round of the continental championship but winning the group would give them the advantage of playing at home in the last 16 stage.
"I think we have done pretty well to win the President's Cup this season and now with nothing left to play in the remainder of the domestic competition, we can fully concentrate on the ACL," the forward said. "Our league hopes were gone a long time ago."