Er­bil FC in­tro­duces new play­ers and coaches to me­dia

The team seeks to strengthen its de­fense, mid-field and at­tack

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Zakaria Muhammed

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

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