x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Coton and Aitken join Ahli backroom coaching staff

David O'Leary, the new coach of Al Ahli, has continued his rebuilding of the Pro League club by recruiting the former Manchester United goalkeeping coach, Tony Coton.

DUBAI // David O'Leary, the new coach of Al Ahli, has continued his rebuilding of the Pro League club by recruiting the former Manchester United goalkeeping coach, Tony Coton. O'Leary, the former manager of English sides Leeds United and Aston Villa, penned a three-year deal with the Dubai club last week to end four years out of football management. He has wasted no time in assembling a powerful backroom staff at his ambitious new club.

Roy Aitken, his former No 2 at Villa, left Birmingham City, the English Premier League club, to be reunited with O'Leary last week. Now Coton, the former Manchester City goalkeeper who was in charge of the likes of Edwin van der Sar and Ben Foster during his stint on Sir Alex Ferguson's coaching staff at United, has been confirmed as Ahli's new goalkeeping coach. O'Leary will be running the rule over his new charges, including the new club captain, the 2006 World Player of the Year, Fabio Cannavaro, during their ongoing three-week training camp in Austria.

"I was impressed by the development plans that Al Ahli has put in place and I look forward to becoming part of a club that will go from strength to strength," O'Leary, the former Arsenal and Republic of Ireland defender, said in a statement. "I am lucky to walk into a club with some of the best backroom staff around, with a great deal of expertise, from coaches through to medics and physiotherapists.

"Al Ahli is investing right through the ranks in a way that will build a quality, sustainable football club. From the start we will aim to be a disciplined team that brings the highest standards of football to every training session and every match." @Email:pradley@thenational.ae