x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Super Cup: Bonamigo hopes to usher in new era of success at Al Jazira

The club's new Brazilian coach is acutely aware how important winning the Etisalat Super Cup against rivals Al Ain is.

With Al Shabab last season, Paulo Bonamigo had built a reputation for getting clubs to punch above their weight class. But with Al Jazira he knows he's moved to one of the heavyweights in the league.
With Al Shabab last season, Paulo Bonamigo had built a reputation for getting clubs to punch above their weight class. But with Al Jazira he knows he's moved to one of the heavyweights in the league.

DUBAI // Paulo Bonamigo, the new manager of Al Jazira, says he is well aware of the inflated expectations on him since his summer move from Al Shabab, where the Brazilian coach established a reputation for helping clubs of relatively modest ambition to exceed their aspirations.

His work in guiding Shabab to third place in the Pro League last term earned him a renewed contract, only for him to then depart for Jazira a week after agreeing to a second season at the Dubai club.

The expectations at his new club are perennially grand, especially so since winning the league and President's Cup double in 2011.

Bonamigo said that helping his new charges to a first Super Cup title against Al Ain on Monday night would be a good start.

"We are just beginning our job with Al Jazira and we are trying to bring a new philosophy," he said. "It is a challenge and a big responsibility to be with Al Jazira, and especially starting with a final. We hope this will be the first final of many in the future."

Jazira's bid to retain their league title last season was undermined by a leaky defence.

They have since also seen Lucas Neill, their Australian centre-back, depart the club for Al Wasl. Bonamigo said his new team remain a work in progress.

"We are still working to keep the best of Al Jazira as an offensive team," he said.

"We have some priorities to aim for when the season starts, but for the moment the game against Al Ain is our only priority.

"We are not 100 per cent in our objectives, but we are still growing and working towards that."

Ricardo Oliveira, the Brazilian forward who signed a new deal this summer to keep him at Jazira until 2015, said his side are committed to adding the Super Cup trophy to the silverware they have won in recent seasons.

"We know Al Ain are a very strong team," Oliveira said. "We have ambitions to take this title.

"My team are ready. We hope to do well for our support because we don't have this trophy, so we will do our best to take it."

pradley@thenational.ae

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