football

Diego Maradona says his backroom boys can make Fujairah the best

Wolves boss pledges support team can make his side one to be feared

18:11 July 16, 2017
 Diego Maradona

Fujairah: Diego Maradona says the backroom staff he has assembled at Fujairah should enable The Wolves to beat anyone next season.

The 56-year-old Argentine, who joined the second tier club as coach on a one-year deal in May, met the players for the first time on Saturday and introduced his assistant Luis Islas, goalkeeper coach Gaston Romero and analyst Bruno Maffoni.

“My coaching team has worked in an excellent way, so I will give all the players everything to go onto the pitch and do their best to be competitive,” said the 1986 World Cup winner.

“I want to build a team that balances attack and defence and is capable of confronting any team in the UAE. I have a great desire for this new challenge and I’m looking forward to it,” he added.

Fujairah were relegated from the Arabian Gulf League in 2015/16 and narrowly missed out on bouncing straight back, after finishing fourth in the UAE’s second tier last season. Under new coach Maradona however, The Wolves are now hoping to get back into the top flight this season.

So far, the club have released Lebanese striker Hassan Mattouk and are believed to have retained Nigerian forward Patrick Eze, but their other three foreigners have yet to be confirmed. The club will fly to Holland for a 20-day camp on August 5.

Maradona, who played for Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli, as well as the Argentina national team, is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all-time, but as a coach he hasn’t achieved as much acclaim.

He managed Argentina’s Mandiyu de Corrientes and Racing Club briefly in the mid-1990s before leading the Argentina national team to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup. Since then though he has only managed Dubai’s Al Wasl for a season in 2011/12 before getting sacked for failing to achieve. Fujairah is his fifth coaching appointment and the first in five years.