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Martin Jol talks about Ahly development and fans’ absence
Ahly manager Martin Jol has held a long press conference in which he talked about several subjects including club development, fans’ absence and his comical pictures.
The Dutch manager has held a press conference on Thursday in which he talked in depth about several subjects surrounding the club and his target goal that he wishes to reach with the Red Devils.
On the subjects of the fans’ absence from games, Martin Jol has expressed his surprise with the situation saying: “I didn’t know Al Ahly played all their matches without fans, I thought their absence was set for just a few matches as a temporary ban, but I found out the truth recently.
“This hasn’t upset me, it made me more determined to manage Al Ahly as I know they’ve got an enormous fan base with about 60 or 70 million fans and at least 5 million following the televised games.”
The 60 year-old has recently posted a number of comical pictures of himself on his Facebook page while visiting the Pyramids, which he was questioned about by the press.
His reply was: “Egyptians are a great people, I felt great kindness and respect when I dealt with them up close and I feel great when I see the smiles on their faces and that’s the best thing I’ve felt in Egypt; it proves that what the European media are feeding us isn’t true.
“It’s become my job to correct that notion and I feel that I should show the real picture of Egypt to Europe.
“That’s why I took to taking pictures of myself at various historical sites and posting it on my Facebook page.”
Al Ahly have recently announced a plan to develop the Football sector at the club with help of Martin Jol who advocated the idea.
“I sat with club chairman Mahmoud Taher and we agreed on a plan to develop the football sector at the club especially that we want to put the club in its right stance among European elite clubs as Al Ahly is no less than them.
“That’s probably the reason I didn’t bring any assistants, except Mike [Lindeman] the fitness coach, as I wish to pass on my expertise to Egyptian managers so they’d lead the team after I’m gone.
“Our aim is for the Egyptian National team to have eight or nine Ahly players in the starting line up.
“We’re aiming to build a new generation capable of emulating the achievements of Treika and Barakat’s generation as they’re the best group of players Egypt has witnessed.
He added: “I’m still trying to find the new Treika between the current squad members.”
Jol has taken the helm at the Al Ahly in February and has since led the club in six matches in which they remain undefeated with four wins and two draws.
He talks about the league and CAF Champions league saying: “Competing for the league is really difficult and it’s hard to win all the games, but there should be a decision taken to allow fans’ return in order to motivate and help the team more.
“African trips are laborious, but there’s no problem with it at all as we work under any circumstance and when I traveled to Tanzania and Angola I knew I wasn’t travelling for fun.”
Jol has talked about several members of the squad including Ramadan Sobhy, Malick Evouna, Rami Rabia and Ahmed Hegazy saying: “Ramadan Sobhy has made decent appearances lately with Egypt and it’s normal for a player to stay consistent in matches and not have his performances affected from game to game.
“Malick Evouna is a decent player with incredible pace, but he needs to develop his performances and time his passes and shots better; he also needs to work on his scoring form as he has a great mentality to succeed.”
On defenders Rami Rabia and Ahmed Hegazy he said: “They haven’t got the best opportunity in Europe because they haven’t matured just yet, but I’ll try and help them to reach that level.”
The Dutch manager has finished up by saying: “Al Ahly is the most important thing in my life right now and not just a place I work in, I’m determined to help the club reach the level it deserves; some people in Europe may think I’m in trip because of the pictures I post, but these are to show to my friends that Egypt is safe.
“I promise Ahly fans that I’ll stick with the club as long as they want me there and I won’t leave unless I fail to win championships; that’s why I’m working hard to win and make the fans happy.”