x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Pro League: Simon Feindouno signs one-year deal with Ajman

Guinean is club's second signing for the next after Iranian Mohammed Reza Khalatbari, reports Ahmed Rizvi.

Simon Feindouno had been released by Dubai during the January transfer window. Satish Kumar / The National
Simon Feindouno had been released by Dubai during the January transfer window. Satish Kumar / The National

DUBAI // Five months after his release by Dubai club under controversial circumstances, Simon Feindouno has promised a “strong” comeback to UAE football with Etisalat Cup champions Ajman.

The Guinean international, 27, who had been a part of the Dubai team since the start of the 2011/12 season, was replaced during the January transfer with club officials claiming a medical test determined that Feindouno had enlarged heart muscles.

The player, however, denied those claims and was retested again in France. A test performed at the Aspire Academy in Qatar also gave him the all-clear, and that was enough to convince Ajman to offer Feindouno a one-year deal.

“We signed a deal with Simon after he successfully passed his medical examination and he will be [introduced] at a news conference next week,” a club spokesman said.

Feindouno is Ajman’s second foreign signing of the off-season and he will replace Malian Founeke Sy in Abdulwahab Abdulqadir’s squad.

The club had announced Mohammed Reza Khalatbari as their Asian player three days back, with the Iranian international – a former Al Wasl player – coming in for Omani Fawzi Bashir, who retired from the game at the end of the season.

Boris Kaabi and Driss Fettouhi are expected to continue with the club, and Feindouno is excited about being a part of such a “quality” squad.

“I chose Ajman because they are a team who want to improve,” Feindouno said. “They are one of the best teams in the UAE, they have a really good project and they are an ambitious club. They are always looking to build a stronger team than the last season.

“They wanted me to be a part of this project and I am really thankful to them. I will do everything I can to help them in their project. The management, the coach, all of them wanted me to be a part of this team. That’s a huge motivation for me.”

Looking back at the events of January, Feindouno believes it was a “situation from God”, and he holds no grudges against his former employers.

“It was a very bad situation for me when Dubai club made all those statements in the newspapers,” he said. “But for me, I was sure 100 per cent that I did not have any heart problems, and from the start to the end, Ajman believed me 100 per cent. Not once did they believe what was being said in the media.

“I also got many tests done in France on my heart and they found nothing wrong. So I cannot really understand what happened at Dubai club, but I don’t want to talk about it. I want to put this situation behind me.

“I don’t have anything against Dubai club. If I play against them, it will be like any other match for me. I will play against them like I will against Al Jazira or Al Shaab. Maybe some people are waiting to see me play against Dubai, but no – Simon is not like this.”

Confident that he had the “quality” to find another club in the UAE, Feindouno claims he was under no stress in the past five months and instead enjoyed the time off with his family.

“My kids are really young and this is the first time I could spent so much time with them,” he said.

“I could take them to school and then pick them up again. They were really happy with this.

“But I did not stop training completely. I got myself a training programme and worked regularly on it. Sometimes, I would go and play futsal with friends. So I have kept myself in shape, because I want to come back very strong.”




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