Erbil FC introduces new players and coaches to media
The team seeks to strengthen its defense, mid-field and attack
The Erbil Football Club has already started reshaping its team for the Iraqi premier league season and AFC Cup. Erbil hopes to win over its fans first by showing a strong performance in the domestic league. To do this, Erbil began changing its lineup last week, signing two new players.
Following the appointment of Ayoub Odisho as the Head Coach of the Erbil Football Club, the club held a press conference to introduce its new players and coaching staff to the Media.
The press conference was held on October 27 at the Franso Hariri Stadium. Dr. Abdullah Majeed, President of the Erbil Club, discussed the club's plans and upcoming activities and answered reporters’ questions.
"Due to some problems in the squad, and at the request of the coach, we signed some new players to strengthen our defense, mid-field and attack. Our aim is to win the domestic league (Iraqi Premier League), and put in the best performance we can in the Asian Confederation Cup," said Majeed.
“In order to achieve our goals and satisfy our fans, we have signed experienced and professional coaching staff, who are expected to have a great impact on the players’ physical abilities and talents.”
The coaching staff introduced to the reporter at the conference include Ayoub Odisho, the new head coach; Saadi Toma, his assistant; the Spaniard Gonzalo Rodriguez, the team’s physical trainer; and Omer Saleem, its technical manager.
Odisho has coached Al-Talaba and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, leading them to three trophies in the 1996-1997 season. The coach also had a lengthy spell in Lebanon managing Salam Zgharta, Al-Akhaa Ahli Aley and Safa FC. He also trained Erbil in 2011.
Jalil Zidane will be coaching the team’s goalkeepers.
Gonzalo Rodriguez worked with famous coach, Rafael Benitez, at Liverpool in 2008, having worked as the Reserve Team Fitness Coach at the Valladolid club in Spain previous to that.
The team also presented six new players, including Saif Salman and Burhan Sahiyoni from Duhok FC, Farhan Sahkur from Sulaimaniya FC, Muthanna Khalid from Qua Al-Jawiyah, Bashar Saadoon from Sinaa Club, and Burhan Jumaa from Sawra FC.
The club signed a two-year contract with its former goalkeeper, Didar Hamid, who has transferred back from Zakho.
The 2013-2014 football season kicked off on October 29 with the participation of only 16 clubs from all 18 provinces. The Iraqi Football Association (IFA) has decided to change the name of the league from Elite to Premiership.
Erbil played its first match against Qua Al-Jawiyah in Baghdad and won the match 3-1. The first goal was scored by Amjad Radhi only four minutes into the game. Hadri Siyamand scored the second goal in the 29th minute, and this was followed by another goal scored by Nabeel Sabah in the 33th minute.
Last year, Al Shurta became the Iraqi Elite league champions after beating Al Talaba 3-0 on the last day of the season and maintaining their two-point lead over their closest challengers, the defending champions, Erbil. Al-Shurta and Erbil have booked their place in this year’s AFC Cup, as well.
Dr. Abdullah Majeed, President of the Erbil Club, discusses the club's plans and upcoming activities at a press conference in Erbil last week. Press Photo