x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Arabian Gulf League: Emana back with Al Ahli but unsure for how long

Cameroonian returns from Al Wasl loan with a year left on his Al Ahli contract but his future is uncertain with the club, writes John McAuley.

With a new manager on staff, Achille Emana, right, is uncertain about his Al Ahli future. Lee Hoagland / The National
With a new manager on staff, Achille Emana, right, is uncertain about his Al Ahli future. Lee Hoagland / The National

DUBAI // Achille Emana, the Al Ahli midfielder, hopes to resolve his future in the coming week, although he has yet to be given any clear indication if he is part of the club's long-term plans.

The Cameroonian returned to the Rashid Stadium this month following last season's successful six-month loan spell at Al Wasl, and has attended pre-season training with the rest of his teammates.

However, Emana is unsure as to whether Cosmin Olaroiu, Ahli's new manager, intends to retain him, saying he has not held any conversation with the coach, or the club's board, regarding his situation. He has one year remaining on his contract.

A place in the 2013/14 squad appears unlikely, with Grafite and the recent signing Hugo Viana occupying two of the four allocated slots for foreign players. Luis Jimenez, the Chilean playmaker, now holds a Palestinian passport and therefore qualifies as Ahli's Asian representative. That leaves vacant only one expatriate spot.

"I could stay as I still have a contract, but the decision is not mine," Emana said. "If Ahli tell me they need me I'll play for them, but if not I have to go. Nobody has told me anything.

"I'm a footballer. For me, the most important thing is to play. I go to training and I'm happy to do that, but now I'll wait until my agent tells me what is the problem, or tells me if he has news for me about another team."

Emana, whose agent expects to meet Ahli officials next week, would not rule out a transfer to another Arabian Gulf League side, but he is not aware of any interest.

He would also embrace a return to Europe; the midfielder previously played for Toulouse in France's Ligue 1 and with Real Betis in Spain's Primera Liga.

Emana views the coming season as a hugely significant one, personally, as he wants to be included in Cameroon's squad should they qualify for next summer's World Cup in Brazil.

While he describes the lack of communication from Ahli as "very strange", he insists he is not irritated by the uncertainty surrounding his future.

"There is no anger because lots of people would give anything to be in my place. I have the contract there and am healthy enough to go to training and lucky to wake up every morning to see my daughters.

"There are more problems in this world. I take everything with a smile. The most important thing for me is to show my best every time I play. If the Ahli president tells me to stay then for sure I'd stay. I'd sit with him to talk, but at the moment nobody speaks with me.

"I remain motivated. My job is to show Cosmin on the pitch and hope he can make a good decision. I can see from training that he is a good coach.

"If he needs me, he can tell me. I just wait for someone to tell me something."

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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