x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Sharjah's Bonamigo wants to hit the ground running with new recruits

Coach believes it will take time for three Brazilians to settle in UAE football as they wait on Asian player, writes John McAuley.

Paulo Bonamigo will not comment on his new players unless he sees them in action. Jake Badger for The National
Paulo Bonamigo will not comment on his new players unless he sees them in action. Jake Badger for The National

Paulo Bonamigo, the Sharjah coach, says the club must be patient with their new triumvirate of Brazilians.

The former Al Jazira manager has quickly revamped his squad since his appointment in May, adding to the newly promoted side's roster three compatriots in Ze Carlos, Fellype Gabriel and Mauricio Ramos.

Striker Ze Carlos arrived last month from Chanchung Yatai in the Chinese Super League, with attacking midfielder Gabriel joining him from Brazil's Botafogo, while defender Ramos was last week signed from Palmeiras, a club in his homeland.

Sharjah still have to decide on who will fill their Asian spot, although a deal to bring former midfielder Javad Nekounam, 32, back to the UAE has proved more arduous than first envisaged. He currently plays for Iranian side Esteghlal.

Bonamigo is understandably keen to complete his expatriate quota as soon as possible, with Sharjah having last week returned from a 12-day training camp in Turkey, the first phase of an extended pre-season.

Integral to prolonging their stay in the rebranded Arabian Gulf League will be the contribution of Carlos, Gabriel and Ramos. However, Bonamigo believes it will take time for the recent recruits to settle.

"We can only evaluate the players once they start playing games, so we must wait and not rush judgment on them," he said. "Personally, I have complete confidence in the new players, and I believe in their ability to make a difference to the team next season.

"I'm still watching all the players in the squad to get to know each one's true level.

"We're the first team to begin preparing for the new season, and we are working in every way to ensure the team are ready to give their best next season." Sharjah will contest a friendly tournament during Ramadan before travelling to Germany next month for another training camp.


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