x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Arabian Gulf League: Jorge Da Silva in the know at Baniyas

New Baniyas coach promises to improve on club's 2012/13 season, and says his year spent in Saudi Arabia only aids his chances of success.

Uruguayan Jorge da Silva, 51, says his previous experience in the region, when he coached in Saudi Arabia, will give him an advantage at Baniyas.
Uruguayan Jorge da Silva, 51, says his previous experience in the region, when he coached in Saudi Arabia, will give him an advantage at Baniyas.

ABU DHABI // Jorge da Silva said his experience of Gulf football will be invaluable as he embarks on what he hopes will be an extended career at Baniyas.

The Arabian Gulf League club's new manager was presented at their stadium on Thursday, signing an initial one-year contract with the option of another two seasons.

Although he arrives from recently leading Penarol to the top-flight championship in his native Uruguay, Da Silva has fond memories of a season spent in Saudi Arabia.

In 2009/10, he guided Al Nassr to third in the top division and secured qualification for the first time to the re-branded Asian Champions League.

The targets at Baniyas may be even higher, though, with the club seeking to build on a season that included finishing fourth in the table and lifting only their second piece of silverware with victory in the GCC Clubs Championship.

"I'm determined to do a really good job here to elevate Baniyas to a better position than they were before," Da Silva, 51, said through a translator. "This is a very important team in the UAE and I believe I can achieve something good next season. That's the only intention I have.

"I decided to cancel my contract with Penarol as I always wished to come back to the Gulf. I liked Baniyas's proposal and feel it's a very good project for the future. The club want to be at a really high level and that's why I chose to come. I want to stay here for a long time. I trust we can improve on last season."

Da Silva, who has also managed with success in Uruguay with Defensor, and then at Godoy Cruz and Banfield in Argentina, said his time in Riyadh was one of his most enjoyable as a manager. He feels the understanding gained will serve well in his quest to succeed with Baniyas.

"I know the Gulf players' mentality and their capabilities," he said.

"At Nassr I changed the mindset and the players were stronger and trusted in what we wanted.

"I'd a good relationship with the players and the most important thing is that they understood my philosophy. I want to be the best wherever I work. I have high standards, always."

Da Silva will wait to evaluate his new side before refining the squad for next season, although the club are in advanced talks with Carlos Munoz, the Chilean striker at Colo-Colo.

Signing a forward remains the priority, especially as Da Silva places an emphasis on attacking football.

"We are close to agreeing with Munoz," said Mubarak bin Mahroum, the Baniyas chairman.

"We hope the new coach can replicate what he did with Al Nassr, in achieving Champions League football and to also finish higher in the domestic league."

 

jmcauley@thenational.ae

 

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE