x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Baniyas' Amer Abdulrahman to trial for Blackburn Rovers

UAE midfielder follows in footsteps of Omar Abdulrahman but as 'an experiment' for now, writes Amith Passela.

Amer Abdulrahman, right, will go on trialat Blackburn Rovers.
Amer Abdulrahman, right, will go on trialat Blackburn Rovers.

ABU DHABI // Amer Abdulrahman, the diminutive Baniyas and UAE international midfielder, travels to Blackburn Rovers, the English Championship club, for a trial on Monday, the Arabian Gulf League club confirmed.

"It is not on a contract offer or transfer but to attend a trial similar to Omar Abdulrahman of Al Ain underwent at Manchester City last year," Khaled Al Junaibi, the club spokesman said.

"The club believes it will be good experience for Amer, the learning curve and the opportunity to train alongside some the top notch professionals in English conditions.

"For the time being, we are treating as an experiment for the player. However, should he impress Blackburn Rovers and if a formal offer is made to us, the club will take it forward from there onwards."

Omar Abdulrahman, 21, impressed with his play so much during the UAE's appearance at the London Olympics last year, he was invited for a trial at Manchester City.

The Al Ain playmaker underwent a successful two-week trial at the Etihad Stadium but a deal with the 2012 Premier League champions fell through because of the problems securing a work permit.

According to the British Home Office regulations, to secure the switch Abdulrahman would have had to feature in 75 per cent of the UAE's matches during the past two years, while the national team must reside within the top 70 places in Fifa's world rankings. The UAE is currently ranked 85.

Last year, Hamdan Al Kamali became the first Emirati to ply his trade in Europe after moving to the French Ligue 1 club Lyon on a six month loan from Al Wahda.

But the UAE international centre back returned without having played a single game.

"Amer is very excited. It has been his ambition to play abroad and he will find out by himself if he would get that opportunity," Al Junaibi said.

"We at the club obviously want him to benefit in wherever he wants to play. The club has wished him well and feels he can benefit from this experience.

"Amer is also a valuable player for us but the club is prepared to look at the bigger picture. If he is successful at the trial, then the club will see what is laid on the table for him before a deal can be struck."

Amer Abdulrahman, 24, was a teammate of Omar Abdulrahman at the 2012 Olympics and another player to emerge from the team dubbed the 'golden generation' for the success they have had in the age group tournaments.

They won a maiden under 19 Asian Championship, reached the last eight stage in the U20 World Cup, clinched the U23 Gulf Cup as well as a first silver medal at the Asian Games, and became the first team to qualify for the Olympic Games.

apassela@thenational.ae

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