x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Wahda goalkeeper Abdulla aims to repay club's loyalty

Mutaz Abdulla, the Al Wahda goalkeeper, has extended his stay with the Abu Dhabi club by signing a one-year contract for the 2011/12 season.

ABU DHABI // Mutaz Abdulla, the Al Wahda goalkeeper, has extended his stay with the Abu Dhabi club by signing a one-year contract for the 2011/12 season.

The 36-year-old former UAE international moved from Al Ain to the capital on a two-year deal in 2009 but suffered an ankle fracture in the very first match. He returned only midway in the current season.

"I am happy with the new contract and to stay on with a club that has kept faith in me," said the veteran stopper, after signing the new contract yesterday.

"It was very unfortunate that I couldn't fulfil the ambitions of the club by missing out the most part of my two-year contract, but I hope to make up for it in the new season. This season has been disappointing for us, but this team has the potential to return as a major player."

Abdulla will travel to Germany immediately after the last Pro League game on June 5 to have the metal screws in his ankle removed.

"I have already consulted the medical team that worked on my ankle and they have assured me the healing process will not take much time, and I can be ready on time for the pre-season training," he said.

Wahda will finish the season without winning any silverware. They reached the President's Cup final, were eliminated in the semi-final of the Etisalat Cup and failed to go beyond the group stage in the Asian Champion League (ACL).

They are lying fifth in the Pro League table with three games left and will be looking to finish in the top four to claim one of the four spots for an Emirati club in the 2012 ACL.

Al Jazira, who have already won the league, are on 49 points followed by Baniyas (34), Al Shabab (29) and Al Wasl (28).

Wahda play Al Ahli on Saturday, followed by Baniyas and the already-relegated Al Dhafra in their remaining fixtures.

apassela@thenational.ae