Club hope for a ‘lit­tle mir­a­cle’

Baniyas pick old hand Ab­dulqadir to stave rel­e­ga­tion

The National - News - Sport - - LEADING OFF - Amith Pas­sela apas­sela@thena­

ABU DHABI // A Baniyas of­fi­cial has ac­knowl­edged that hav­ing a third coach at this stage of the sea­son is dif­fi­cult for the in­com­ing man­ager but they are bank­ing on Ab­dul­wa­hab Ab­dulqadir and his fa­mil­iar­ity at the club to achieve the tough task of avoid­ing rel­e­ga­tion.

The ta­ble-bot­tom team re­placed Jose Gomes with the Iraqi, the most successful man­ager at Baniyas over two spells. Ab­dulqadir led them to two his­toric achieve­ments, win­ning the Pres­i­dent’s Cup in 1992 and earn­ing a pro­mo­tion to Di­vi­sion 1 in 1988 dur­ing his first five-year stint.

Ab­dulqadir “is a fa­mil­iar face in UAE foot­ball and we are con­fi­dent on him to do a lit­tle mir­a­cle for us,” said Jas­sim Ab­dul­lah Al Shrfa, head of the board of di­rec­tors.

“We have a con­tract with him not bound by a time-pe­riod. He can con­tinue with this role as long as pos­si­ble. Ab­dul­wa­hab, for sure, has a very dif­fi­cult job and we feel he’s the man who can do it for us.” Gomes was a re­place­ment for Baniyas’ sum­mer ap­point­ment Pablo Repetto.

“I didn’t blink an eye­lid when I was of­fered the job,” Ab­dulqadir said.

“I have a lot of good me­mories with them. I have, of course, come dur­ing a dif­fi­cult pe­riod and my first task would be to raise the con­fi­dence of the play­ers. There are a few tech­ni­cal mat­ters that need to be taken care of. “How­ever, my im­me­di­ate task is to pre­pare them for the next game against Hatta on Satur­day. If we can achieve a good re­sult, then we can take it from there.”

Ab­dulqadir ar­rived in the UAE in 1983 as the youth team coach of Al Shabab for four years be­fore tak­ing charge of the first team at Baniyas.

He re­turned there in 1996 af­ter a two-year spell as the youth coach at Al Wahda. He won the coach of year award in 2012/13 af­ter lead­ing Aj­man to the Eti­salat Cup ti­tle.

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