Assistant manager Hany Ramzy discusses Egypt squad choices
Head coach Javier Aguirre recently revealed his final squad for the Pharaohs’ meeting against Swaziland in which he excluded notable players like Al Ahly’s Walid Soliman, Zamalek’s Mahmoud Alaa, Al Masry’s Islam Issa and Arab Contractors hitman Ahmed Ali and Taher Mohamed Taher.
“Anyone can question our choices, the national team is not owned by anyone and it is normal that some people would question our choices and we try addressing their concerns realistically,” Hany Ramzy told ON Sport TV channel.
Ramzy pointed out the exclusion of Soliman, Alaa, Issa, Ali and Taher saying that their exclusion doesn’t mean that the staff will not continue to follow them.
“Mahmoud Alaa performed well but we decided to call up Mahmoud Hamdy El-Wensh because we have a number of players in the same position,” Ramzy explained. “We also have Ayman Ashraf who plays as a central defender. I coached Mahmoud Alaa in the Olympic team but we’re testing players because we can’t include 35 players.
“Walid Soliman also made notable appearances and was once an international player, but currently we’re trying to lower the average age of our players which makes the difference when we’re choosing players at the moment. If we were playing against Tunisia we would have called up more experienced players.
“Islam Issa is special and he’s a young player. We did talk about him and we’re still following his performances. He might not join us in this phase but he might be part of the team during the next phase. Same goes for Taher Mohamed Taher and Walid Soliman,” he added.
“All in all, this is just a specific phase and it is possible that during the next phase we include new players, this will happen according to a strategy that the staff is working on to lower the average age of national team players because we’re targetting the 2022 World Cup.
“As for Ahmed Ali, he’s over 30 but we will use his services. His position made the difference for us when we were choosing,” he explained.
Ramzy was asked if Pharahos abroad are included in Egypt’s squad just because they play abroad but the assistant manager denied this assuring that all players are equal in the eyes of the national team staff.
“All 25 players are equal when they wear Egypt’s shirt. We look at our competitors and see if players will fit opponents or not. No player can secure his position.
“Those who play abroad enhance the image of Egyptian players in general but when they join the national team it’s their performances and efforts in training that matter.”
Ramzy said he wished the match would take place in Cairo stadium but hoped fans would support the team in El-Salam stadium.
The Pharaohs will line up against Swaziland for the first game on October 12 in Cairo then head to Mbabane to play the fourth round match on the 16th of the same month.
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