UAE's Al Kamali eager to make most of another chance
BIG EXPECTATIONS: The UAE squad during a training session in Bahrain. - Twitter
Dubai - The centre back returns to the National team after two years in the wilderness
Al Wahda centre back Hamdan Al Kamali was delighted to make a comeback to the UAE National football team after two years in the wilderness and vowed to give it his all for the team's cause.
The 30-year-old was named in Bert van Marwijk's 28-man squad for the camp in Bahrain ahead of the joint Asia Zone World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
Al Kamali, who made his senior team debut against North Korea in World Cup qualifying in March 2009, was last seen in National team colours against Thailand in World Cup qualification in June 2017.
Al Kamali's return comes at the expense of Al Ain centre back Ismail Ahmed, who is now 36.
"I'm very happy to return to the national team," Al Kamali said on Thursday.
The squad are currently in the midst of the camp and are slated to play two friendlies. They first take on 155-ranked Dominican Republic at the Bahrain National Stadium on Friday night. The Whites, ranked 65, will also meet Sri Lanka, ranked 200 in the world, on Saturday night.
"I feel a sense of pride to be back with the Whites. I hope that I can be a valuable addition to and will try to reach the ambitions set by the team," he added.
Al Kamali has been capped 32 times by the UAE, featuring in nine World Cup qualification fixtures, 14 international friendlies, five AFC Asian Cup matches and four Asian Cup qualification games. He had missed out on the AFC Asian Cup on home soil, when the team was coached by Alberto Zaccheroni.
Al Kamali said the dream is to help the UAE qualify for the World Cup.
"It is a new challenge for me. It is another chance for me and I'm eager to make the most of this opportunity. I want to contribute and try and achieve positive results as the team embarks on qualification on both the fronts. The dream is to see UAE make it to the World Cup and the AFC Asian Cup," he remarked.
The UAE's only appearance at football's showpiece was in Italy in 1990.
UAE vs Dominican Republic, 8 p.m UAE Time