x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Khamis backs youth to shine

The UAE midfielder has backed Slovenian coach Srecko Katanec for blooding his promising youngsters at the first opportunity.

ABU DHABI // The UAE midfielder Mahmoud Khamis has backed Slovenian coach Srecko Katanec for blooding his promising youngsters at the first opportunity. "This is the best way to move forward," said the 23-year-old Al Wahda player. "There are several young players in this squad including some of those who did proud for the country in the Fifa Under 20 World Cup in Egypt.

"I am not undermining the importance and the contributions of the senior players, but blooding the youngsters, particularly those who returned from the U20 World Cup, is a good move. These players are very talented and their confidence is very high at the moment. "I can't say what the coach has in mind. If the younger players are given the opportunity, I am sure they will prove their worth. Manchester City are a famous team, but we hope to give them a good run. "

The midfielder Subait Khater, is back in the squad after serving a one-year ban from the UAE FA for breaking a night curfew ahead of a 2010 World Cup qualifying match with Iran, was also impressed with Katanec's youth policy. "The coach is trying to build a strong squad and is doing the right thing by providing the youngsters an early opportunity," he said. "This squad is a fine balance of youth and experience, but the coach may want to have a good look at the youngsters.

"We as the senior players are glad to help the coach on his plans to build a team for the future. These are the games where the coach can try out new combinations. "I am sure he's not going to overlook the senior players. It is just that he wants to have a good look at some of the youngsters and then strike a good balance between the youth and the experienced players." @Email:apassela@thenational.ae