x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Dias ready to turn up the heat

The Al Ain team fly out to Germany today with their new signing Andre Dias setting his sights on a title push.

Andre Dias talks a walk on the pitch at Al Ain's Stadium, after completing his move from Al Wasl.
Andre Dias talks a walk on the pitch at Al Ain's Stadium, after completing his move from Al Wasl.

AL AIN // The Al Ain team fly out to Germany today with their new signing Andre Dias setting his sights on a title push. The Brazilian, 27, formally signed a one-year contract worth Dh4.4 million on Thursday following his free transfer from the Dubai-based club Al Wasl. "I can't promise that we will be the champions or that I will be the top scorer, but I have a good feeling that we will do well this season," he said.

"But it is more important to have good relations with the other team members and management. "Only if a player enjoys his stay in the team, will he do well." Dias scored 14 goals in the league and three in the cup last season, and is looking forward to "having a nice time and leave with good memories" at his new club. The temperatures in Germany will be substantially cooler than those in the Emirates, but Dias does not foresee any problems adapting when the side return.

"We are professionals and have to get used to different weather conditions," he said. "I have played in Brazil where it is hot and humid. I have also played in Moscow where it is very cold. Here it is hot again." Al Ain will have a revamped side on show when they start the season, with the UAE international Saif Mohammed also joining in a Dh10million transfer from Al Shaab earlier this summer. They are confident of making a mark in the Etisalat League, which will be professional for the first time this season.

Their month-long trip to Germany will be an important build-up to this, and they will play five friendly games while there. "The choice of Germany was natural since the coach Winifred Schafer hails from there," said Ali Saied bin Harmal, the club's executive committee president. "He has also arranged five practice matches - three with the local third division clubs and two with first division clubs.

"The temperature in Germany is colder than here. The players should be hardcore professionals and adapt to all conditions." Al Ain are not the only Emirates club to head to a cooler climate to prepare for the new season. The champions Al Shabab flew to Italy for a monthlong camp yesterday. They will play four friendly games while there. @Email:kshyam@thenational.ae