Greenhorn Radovanovic impresses Al Ain coach Leko
Al Ain's coach Ivan Leko (left) with Andrija Radovanovic. - Twitter
Dubai - The 18-year-old midfielder, who was signed for three seasons, had his first run-out in the 2-2 draw against Shabab Al Ahli in the Arabian Gulf Cup
Al Ain coach Ivan Leko has been left impressed with greenhorn Andrija Radovanovic and expects bigger things from the Serbian.
The 18-year-old midfielder, who underwent a trial during the team's pre-season training camp in Slovenia, was signed for three seasons by the record Arabian Gulf League champions.
And Radovanovic had his first run-out with the club in a competitive fixture, featuring in Al Ain's 2-2 draw against Shabab Al Ahli in the Arabian Gulf Cup at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.
"I believe that the Radovanovic will be a valuable addition to Al Ain," said Leko.
"He is young and had a successful experience with the squad during the camp in Slovenia. He impressed the club with his individual talent. He has the potential to do big things for the club," he added.
Radovanovic was included in the starting line-up and had a decent game before being substituted by Muhsen Abdulla on 65 minutes.
Leko, who took over at the start of the season, was satisfied with the performance against Shabab Al Ahli but said that the backline still needs to be worked on.
"We were looking to a strong start to the season. I'm satisfied with the performance of the players even though we conceded a goal in stoppage time. We will analyse the performance and try to rectify the errors before our next game. We will learn from the mistakes and try to avoid them," said the 41-year-old.
Al Ain were well on their way to victory after Togolese international Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba had scored both their goals from penalties in the sixth and 80 minutes.
Shabab Al Ahli had reduced the deficit through Henrique Luvannor just after the hour. But substitute Ahmed Khalil, who had come on at the start of the second half, scored in the fourth minutes of stoppage time to steal a point for the Al Quasis club.
Referee Mohammed Obaid Khadim dished out 10 cards in the game with Al Ain receiving six bookings.
Al Ain are placed third in Group A with Al Nasr leading the table followed by Al Jazira. Shabab Al Ahli are fourth.