x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Financial support will be handy for Ittihad Kalba

Club officials are currently in discussions with coach Ayman Ramadi and will make a decision shortly on whether to continue with the Egyptian or not, before they start hunting around for both foreign and Emirati players.

Ittihad Kalba, in yellow, will compete in the Arabian Gulf League next season. Mohideen / Al Ittihad
Ittihad Kalba, in yellow, will compete in the Arabian Gulf League next season. Mohideen / Al Ittihad

Since the Arabian Gulf League turned professional in the 2008/09 season, Ittihad Kalba have twice made it to the UAE’s top division, but returned to the second-tier Division One without a fight on both occasions. This time, they are hoping to make an impression.

The Division One champions, who spent three seasons in the top flight between 2002 and 2005 before returning in 2010, are determined to make sure they will not just be making up the numbers in the top professional league next season, and the promise of greater financial support from the Sharjah Sports Council will certainly help.

Club officials are currently in discussions with coach Ayman Ramadi and will make a decision shortly on whether to continue with the Egyptian or not, before they start hunting around for both foreign and Emirati players to strengthen the squad.

“We are in the process of rebuilding the team and what we have achieved this season is just the first step of this process,” Sheikh Haitham bin Saqr Al Qassimi, the vice president of the club, said last week.

“Bigger challenges lie ahead and the coming period will require a much bigger effort from everyone involved to prepare the team for the professional league.

“We will have to make sure we start early, without any delay.”

arizvi@thenational.ae

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