Jazira begin pre-season training minus Oliveira

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Jazira begin pre-season training minus Oliveira

Coach Milla hopes to make amends after last barren season

By James Jose (james@khaleejtimes.com)

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Published: Fri 26 Jul 2013, 3:51 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:00 AM

Al Jazira got down to work for the new season ahead, sans captain Ricardo Oliveira, late on Wednesday night.

Al Jazira assemble for their first pre-season camp at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium

The squad assembled for their first pre-season training camp at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, without their striker Oliveira. Oliveira is still on holiday back in his native Brazil and will link-up with the squad next week.

Al Jazira coach Luis Milla, who took over from Paulo Bonamigo towards the end of last season, arrived from Spain, with the rest of his coaching staff, on Tuesday and went directly to the club headquarters.

Al Jazira, who won their maiden UAE Pro-League title in 2010-11, had a barren season last time out, and Milla hopes to make amends.

‘The Spiders’ have some new faces this year as they prepare to mount a challenge on the rebranded Arabian Gulf League, the President’s Cup, which they have won twice as well as the Etisalat Emirates Cup, which they won in 2010 and finished runners-up last season. Al Jazira are also aiming to go far in the AFC Asian Champions League.

Al Jazira finished third the Etisalat UAE Pro-League last season.

Al Jazira’s new foreign signings — Nelson Valdez, Abdelaziz Barrada as well new local players — Yaqoub Al Hosani, Musallem Fayez, Fareed Ismail and Hameed Al Mas — were present for training.

Shaikh Mohammed bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the chairman of Al Jazira Football Company, watched the squad train.

Paraguayan international Valdez joins from Spanish club Valencia, while Moroccan international Abdelaziz Barrada joins from Spanish side Getafe.

Yaqoub Al Hosani and Musallem Fayez have moved from League champions Al Ain, while Fareed Ismail comes in on a exchange deal for Ahmed Dada, from Bani Yas. Hameed Al Mas joins from Fujairah.

With the club having persisted with Milla, the Spaniard said that his top priorities were to instill a team and family spirit and create competition for places in the team.

“I will work on creating a strong team out of the current group. I also want to install a team and family spirit in and out the pitch, and create a sense of competition between all of them, to guarantee that they will always be prepared whenever I need them during the long season,” said Milla.

Before training got underway, Milla met the players in the locker room and welcomed the new ones, and stressed on the importance of giving their best during the training because it will set the tone for the next season in the local and Asian competitions.

After getting on to the pitch, the players did some fitness training with the fitness coach.

The players were then divided into two groups — the first continued to work on fitness, and the rest did some training with the ball. The goalkeepers worked separately with the goalkeeping coach.

Then, the squad were divided into four groups and they worked with the ball. Milla and his staff intervened to correct mistakes and spoke to the players individually.

They finished the training session with a mini match after which the players had a warm-down.

“This session was fully dedicated to see the players after the holiday and get close to them and to welcome them. I told them what I need and what I expect from them during the preparations period. My priority is to get them to be in top shape physically and also be mentally ready at the start of the new season,” Milla said.

As part of their pre-season training, Al Jazira will hold their annual football friendly tournament tournament — the IPIC Al Jazira International Football Friendly Tournament from August 2 to 5 at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.

Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli, Kuwait FC and Oman’s Al Nahda apart from hosts Al Jazira will be taking part in the tournament.

After Eid, the squad will embark on their overseas training camp to Germany and Switzerland.

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