x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Croatian Andric passes medical at Al Wahda

Al Wahda have filled their foreign quota for the new season with the arrival of the Croatian defender.

ABU DHABI // Al Wahda have filled their foreign quota for the new season with the arrival of Srdan Andric.

The 32 year old, who plays as a defensive midfielder or centre back, completed his medical at the club last night.

He will team up with Eric Mouloungui, the Gabon international, Papa Waigo, of Senegal, and Anas Bani Yaseen, the Jordan international, as Wahda's foreign quartet.

Andric played two international games for Croatia in 2002 and has represented the country in the Under 19 and Under 23 teams.

He began his career at Hadjuk Split in 1999, spent three seasons at Panathinaikos in Greece, and rejoined Hadjuk where he was made captain and led them to second place in their domestic league the past two seasons.

Andric will be the oldest player at Wahda and the team will hope to benefit from his experience after the club either sold or released many of their senior players over the past two years.

"We have a young squad so an experienced player like Srdan is a good choice to have around them," said Abdulla Salem, the former captain and now the team manager.

"We expect him to play the role of the senior-pro, use all his experience to bring discipline and stability on the pitch. And as a player, we are confident he will deliver for us."

Branko Ivankovic, the Croatian who took charge of the Abu Dhabi club on a two-year contract, influenced Andric's signing after Wahda's search for a South American player fell through.

"The club had been in negotiation with a South American player for quite a long time but that didn't come through," Khaled Awadh, the deputy chief executive of the club, said.

"We signed three foreign players before the new coach arrived. However, we took his opinion to complete the signing of Srdan from the list of players that were available to us."

Wahda are one the Pro League clubs to benefit from a steady supply of young talents from their academy.

"We have had a lot of success with our youth players in the past and we are looking for a great season ahead with a new crop of players under a new coach," Awadh added.

Wahda will play in a friendly four-team tournament from August 10 to 16. Al Nasr of Saudi Arabia, Al Riffa of Bahrain and Al Nahda of Oman are the other teams participating.

They have selected Germany for their training camp from August 22 to September 11.

apassela@thenational.ae

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