x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Boloni wishes the best for former club

On the eve of the new Pro Leage campaign, Laszlo Boloni takes time out to wish his old team new luck.

On the eve of the new Pro Leage campaign Laszlo Boloni, who took Al Jazira tantalisingly close to the Etisalat League title last season, took time out from leading his new team Standard Liege to wish his old team new luck. The Romanian made an impact at Al Jazira last season, leading them to the Gulf Club Champions Cup, but just missing out on the league title. With victory needed on the final day to force a play-off, a goalless draw with rivals Al Shabab was not enough and Boloni left his post with second place.

It still rankles with him and while he is now testing his skills at a higher level in Belgium, he has not ruled out a comeback to the Emirates. "The level was different, the work was different, the players were different, but I have fond memories of my time in Abu Dhabi and the country," he says. "It was a fantastic season for me and a superb experience. I don't want to analyse if I should have stayed or not if they gave me the right contract, but it was important for me that I was happy to coach the team.

"I now know another culture, another group of people and I will always have the experience. Will I go back to coach there? Maybe one time I will. "We won the GCC Cup and came second in the league. I wanted to finish first, to win the championship, and we worked hard to do this, so that story is not finished for me. "Maybe I will go back and become the first one day. When I do not do something, I always want to do it the next time."

While Boloni is focused on Liege's cause he is also hoping Jazira will be a success in the new Pro League. "I hope Al Jazira do well in the new season and win the title. They have an experienced coach and good players. "They is now a new professional league so the standard and infrastructure will get better. But they still have to work hard to make it a top league and it may take some time." @Email:akhan@thenational.ae