x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Schaefer wants to win it all again

Winfried Schaefer reiterated his desire to "win all" for Al Ain after signing a one-year deal to remain with the club.

Winfried Schaefer, left, will stay in charge at Al Ain.
Winfried Schaefer, left, will stay in charge at Al Ain.

AL AIN // Winfried Schaefer reiterated his desire to "win all" for Al Ain yesterday after signing a one-year deal to remain with the club. The German coach led his side to two cup wins and secured direct qualification for next year's Asian Champions League. "The challenges will be tougher with the Asian Champions League included next season," he said.

"I want to reiterate we want to win all for Al Ain. I am proud the club have kept faith on me and I want to deliver it for them." Schaefer, 59, who led Ain to both the Etisalat and President's Cup, and third in the Pro League, felt he has built a strong team and expects to keep the Brazilian striker Andre Diaz in his squad next season. "Diaz has been informed of the new one-year contract and he will fly down from Brazil to complete the signing," he said.

"He was a character at times but he did a good job for us." Diaz will join the Chilean international Jorge Valdivia, who has a four-year contract with the club. The Moroccan international Soufiane Alloudi, who missed most of the last season because of injury, is unlikely to return. Schaefer took charge of the nine times league champions in the middle of the 2007-2008 season and turned their fortunes around by winning two of the three domestic titles after a four-year drought of the trophies.

"It has been a wonderful season," said Schaefer. "I wouldn't have been able to achieve them without a good team. I promised to rebuild the team 17 months ago and we made good progress this season. "We reached a good level and now we need to improve, which means more hard work, particularly with the Asian Champions League. "There were many young players and three of them, Salem Abdulla, Musallam Fayez and Mohammed Fayez, went on to play for the national team.

"Some of the younger players took the responsibilities on their young shoulders whenever they got an opportunity when a senior player was either was injured, suspended or were on national duty." apassela@thenational.ae