x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Al Orafi 'happy to take the job' at Baniyas

Baniyas players are looking forward to playing for a familiar face following the dismissal of Jorvan Vieira as their coach, as Salem Al Orafi, a former Baniyas player and most recently the technical director, has been appointed caretaker coach.

ABU DHABI // Baniyas players are looking forward to playing for a familiar face following the dismissal of Jorvan Vieira as their coach.

Salem Al Orafi, a former Baniyas player and most recently the technical director, has been appointed caretaker coach and he has worked with many of the players since they were juniors.

"The first game after the change is very important," Al Orafi, who will be in charge for the home match against Emirates on Tuesday, said. "A good result can bring the confidence back and that's what we need at the moment."

Mohammed Ali Ghuloom, the goalkeeper, said the players want to put Vieira's dismissal behind them and were hoping for a change fortune after seven games without a win under the Brazilian.

"We played good football as a team in the last three years, but we haven't been as good as we were under Vieira," he said.

"I don't want to talk anything more about the previous coach and his handling of the team but we definitely wanted a change. We are now with a more familiar person in charge and hopefully our fortunes will turn around under him."

Al Orafi was a member of the Baniyas team that won the President's Cup in 1992 and since his retirement as a player has worked as a coach with the junior teams and as assistant to several first team coaches.

"I don't know if I would be in charge for one game, one month, two months or three months, but I am happy to take up the job for as long as possible or until and after the club finds a suitable coach," said Al Orafi.

"The club management has put faith in me and I will do my best to get Baniyas to a position they enjoyed in the last three seasons. I won't be able to do wonders in two days, so I will not make any drastic changes on the tactics and combinations."

 

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Dubai upbeat despite form

One point from three Pro League games “does not reflect the outstanding performance” of the Dubai players, according to Hamad Mohammed Matar, the director of the team.

Dubai, who stunned Al Wasl 5-0 in the Etisalat Cup, have lost to Emirates and Al Ain and their lone point comes from a draw with Al Shabab.

“Things will be better once we get our first win and we need to get that in the next match [against Al Nasr on Thursday],” Matar said.

 

Al Nasr back coach Zenga

Al Nasr have reconfirmed their faith in the club’s coaching staff, headed by Walter Zenga, the Italian legend, despite their poor start to the Pro League season.

Nasr, who finished third last term, have only point from three league matches, but Ahmed Hashim Khoury, the vice-chairman of the club, said: “We believe in Zenga and will support him with everything we have. We are not going to make a hasty decisions.”

 

Two wins from two for UAE

Salem Ali, the Al Jazira midfielder, scored the only goal of the game Monday as the UAE Under 20 team made it two wins out of two in their Asian Cup qualifying campaign with a victory over Lebanon.

Ali struck after 30 minutes at Al Fujairah for Eid Baroot’s side who won their first game, on Saturday, 1-0 against Palestine.

The UAE play Yemen Wednesday while their final Group D game is against Syria on Friday.