14 Sep 2017 - 1:03
Al Gharafa, Al Ahli eye winning start to new season
By Armstrong Vas / The Peninsula
Al Gharafa and Al Ahli’s new coaches are keen to begin their QNB Stars League season on a winning note when they clash at Gharafa Stadium tomorrow.
Former Al Khor coach, Frenchman Jean Fernandez urged the club supporters to be patient in the first few rounds as the team will take time to settle down.
“I feel that we can have a special team at Al Gharafa with the players that we have. Now I feel that we need some time to get used to the season, and after a few games we can see if we are capable of challenging at the top of the table,” Fernandez said, while speaking at a press conference ahead of the new season.
Last season, Gharafa finished fifth and the Frenchman will be hoping for a finish among the top three with the club having signed a number of players in the summer.
“We have played plenty of games this preseason, and have trained well. It is now down to the players to show what we have worked on and I hope we can have a strong opening game,” he added.
Luis Jiminez, the new summer signing at Cheetak’s said they have some exciting young players in their ranks. “From what I have seen in preseason we have a young team with plenty of individual talent. Now we need to come together and show what we can do this season. I have every confidence that Al Gharafa can do well this season.”
Meanwhile, vastly experienced Spanish coach Joaquín Caparrós of Al Ahli, who is making his debut in the QNB Stars League, said he will take it match-by.-match.
Coach Caparrós insisted that fans have to be patient with Al Ahli.
“I personally take each game as it comes. On Friday we have a real challenge against a tough Al Gharafa side, but I have real faith that my players can preform and come away with a positive result.”
The Spaniard hopes to lay his hands on a silverware during his stay in Qatar.
“I am glad to be working in the QNB Stars League with Al Ahli, Qatar has had many great Spanish players in the past, and I hope we can win trophies at this great club” noted Caparrós in his first press conference with the club.
Al Ahli defender John Benson called upon his team-mates to rise to the get the best possible result tomorrow.
“We all know how good Al Gharafa are in Qatar. This is an ideal match to show what we can do, and we are fully ready for the match.”