Former Saudi striker Sami Al Jaber to coach Al Wahda

Former Saudi striker Sami Al Jaber to coach Al Wahda

Al Wahda are also set to bring in 28-year-old Ghanian defender Harrison Afful, with an eye on the AFC Champions League fixture, before the winter transfer window closes.



By James Jose (senior Reporter)

Published: Thu 12 Feb 2015, 3:16 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:46 PM

Abu Dhabi: Former Saudi Arabian striker Sami Abdullah Al Jaber will take over as Al Wahda coach after the 42-year-old arrived in the Capital and held talks with the club. Al Jaber has initially been handed a six-month contract, which will see him in charge for the remaining 10 Arabian Gulf League games.

Al Jaber replaces Jose Peseiro, who was axed following the 2-2 draw against Emirates on Sunday night. Peseiro’s sacking was announced on Tuesday and there were three names doing the rounds, that of Austrian Josef Hickersberger, who had led them thrice, former Al Hilal coach Sami Abdullah Al Jaber and former Al Jazira coach Abel Braga. But Al Jaber, a veteran of four World Cups — 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006 — is set to take charge of ‘The Maroons.’

“Sami Abdullah Al Jaber has been confirmed as our new coach,” a club source told the Khaleej Times on Wednesday. Al Wahda’s Under-21 coach Majed Salem will be in the dug-out for the AGL game against Bani Yas on Thursday.

“It is too short a time for him for Al Wahda’s game against Bani Yas. Hopefully, he will be in charge for the AFC Champions League play-off against Al Sadd,” the source added. Al Wahda are set to meet Qatar’s Al Sadd in the AFC Champions League play-off at the Al Nahyan Stadium next Tuesday. According to club sources, Al Jaber arrived in Abu Dhabi and held talks before returning to Qatar. He is currently Director of Football at Qatari club Al Arabi.

Al Wahda are also set to bring in 28-year-old Ghanian defender Harrison Afful, with an eye on the AFC Champions League fixture, before the winter transfer window closes. Peseiro, who was appointed as Czech Karel Jarolim’s replacement in November 2013, had guided the side to an impressive second place finish last season. He was handed a contract extension and the Portuguese, who studied with current Chelsea and former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho at Lisbon’s Superior Institute of Physical Education, repaid that faith by scripting a 20-game unbeaten run from January to December last year. Al Jaber is Saudi Arabia’s second highest goalscorer with 46 goals in 156 internationals from 1992 to 2006. He featured in four World Cups and scored in three of them. He was also a member of the squad which won the AFC Asian Cup in 1996. He is Al Hilal’s most famous player, having spent nearly 20 years with them and helped them win six league titles, six Crown Prince Cups and two AFC Asian Champions League titles.

Al Jaber became assistant coach at Al Hilal from 2009 to 2012 before moving to French club AJ Auxerre as an assistant. He returned to Al Hilal for the 2013-14 season before joining Al Arabi as their Director of Football.

james@khaleejtimes.com


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