Mabkhout sharpens UAE focus

UAE and Al Jazira international forward Ali Mabkhout played down any adverse impact of the tough and long local season on their ongoing preparations for the upcoming 2012 London Games.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

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Published: Fri 22 Jun 2012, 11:56 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:56 PM

“It’s true that we had a very busy season with our clubs and the national teams, but this has nothing to do with our dream appearance in the Games thanks to the careful programme which has been tailored to absorb any external elements,” Mabkhout said. “The current training camp in Switzerland has been tailored to look after the welfare of the players from all psychological and physical aspects of each individual player,” he added.

Mabkhout didn’t deny that they feel tired and exhausted, but said the motivation is very strong and the surrounding atmosphere during the training camp is very friendly. “We spend good times with each other as players and the ideal manner in which the officials run the affairs of the team is very promising.

“Everybody is focusing on his immediate duties and the ultimate objective of the people here is to provide all means of comfort and satisfaction for the players,” he clarified.

“I would like to tell our faithful fans that we are determined not to let them down for any reason whatsoever,” he promised.

“We are truly delighted to have some of the best players from the overage trio including UAE football ace Ismail Matar, keeper Ali Khusaif and Ismail Al Hammadi,” he said. “They are the biggest names and superstars of the UAE football. Khusaif has achieved with the Olympic team the 2010 Asian Games silver medal and Ismail Matar was behind the historic achievement of the 2007 Gulf Cup for the senior national team. I’m extremely excited to play besides Matar. He’s so big in our eyes as new generation although the gap between us is not that big,” he added.

“Al Hammadi is another great performer whose presence is going to make a very big difference for the national team. He’s a fast and talented player who’s capable of testing any defensive line,” he said.

Speaking about his personal ambitions, Mabkhout said being with the Olympic national team in this historic appearance for the UAE in the history of the Games is a great achievement by itself.

“Let’s stop talking about the tough group in which the UAE has been drawn and focus on our own abilities. We have a very strong side which has established a strong presence in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Championship in Egypt. And from this point, we have to understand that the others are no better than us,” he said.

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