x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Al Jazira confirm Eric Gerets as new coach to replace Walter Zenga

The 60-year-old Belgian is thought to have agreed to personal terms with the Arabian Gulf League club almost two weeks ago.

Al Jazira will formally introduce 60-year-old Belgian Eric Gerets as their new coach at a news conference on Thursday. John Berry/Getty Images
Al Jazira will formally introduce 60-year-old Belgian Eric Gerets as their new coach at a news conference on Thursday. John Berry/Getty Images

Al Jazira will formally introduce Eric Gerets as their new coach at a news conference on Thursday.

The 60-year-old Belgian is thought to have agreed to personal terms with the Arabian Gulf League club almost two weeks ago and will replace Walter Zenga after the Italian was dismissed following Jazira’s exit from the Asian Champions League (ACL) last-16 stage to Al Ain.

Jazira lost the return leg at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium 2-1 and 4-2 on aggregate in what proved to be Zenga’s last game in charge of the Abu Dhabi club following his dismissal after seven months.

Gerets has previously coached in the Gulf with Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia and Lekhwiya of Qatar, whom he parted company with earlier this month.

He signed for Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia on a two-year contract in May 2009 and moved to Lekhwiya in October 2012. In-between he spent two years as coach of Morocco national team.

The Qatar News Agency website stated the failure of Lekhwiya to qualify for the knock-out rounds of the ACL, where they finished third in a Group C topped by Al Ain, as well as their failure in the Qatar Cup, which they lost on penalties, and their recent exit from the Emir Cup as the reason for Gerets dismissal at Lekhwiya.

Under Zenga, the former Italy national team goalkeeper, Jazira won 15 of 35 matches across all competitions. Yet Jazira opted to cancel his 20-month contract immediately upon conclusion of their 2013/14 campaign.

Jazira have now gone through five coaches since Abel Braga led them to the first domestic league and President’s Cup double in 2011.

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