x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Musallem Fayez to raise his game at Al Ain

Defender will stay at his home town club and fight for a place in the defending champion's team.

Msalam Fayez hopes to break back into the Al Ain first XI.
Msalam Fayez hopes to break back into the Al Ain first XI.

Al Ain defender Musallem Fayez says he was the subject of offers from nearly half the Pro League clubs before he renewed his contract with the champions.

Fayez made only nine league appearances for Cosmin Olaroiu's title-winning team last season, losing his place in the starting line-up following an injury.

Sensing the 25 year old might want to move to a club where he could be assured of a start, several clubs approached Fayez for his signature during the off-season, but he turned them down.

"I had received offers from five clubs, but I did not think about leaving Al Ain because Al Ain is always my first choice," Fayez told the club's website.

"I was raised in Al Ain. I can't imagine myself wearing the shirt of another club, so I decided to stay. I thank the management and the fans that supported me and I promise to do my best to get back to my level."

Fayez was disappointed with his performance last season, but a talk with Olaroiu lifted his spirits and he has working hard during a nine-day camp in Austria to push his case for a starting spot.

"I tried to find out the reasons for my poor performance last season and I thought it was the injury I had," Fayez said. "The coach talked to me and he asked me to double my efforts to get back to the levels I was at.

"He encouraged me a lot and told me that all the players are playing to raise the name of Al Ain to higher levels and any player who wants to get his position back should double his efforts because the starting line-up is based on performance levels and not on names and fame.

"For me, his words seemed very logical. We are the league champions and we have the best players in the land, so everyone who wants to be in the line-up should be at his best. That is what I am going to do. I have not renewed my contract to sit on the bench. I will work hard to get back my position."

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