Egypt's Al Ahly appoint Martin Jol as coach

Published February 24th, 2016 - 05:56 GMT
Martin Jol
Martin Jol

Dutch coach Martin Jol, who managed Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham in the English Premier League, has been appointed as the new boss of Ahly, Egypt's most popular club announced on Wednesday.

Jol replaces Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro, who left the club in an abrupt manner to take over at Porto in his homeland last month.

"Club chairman Mahmoud Taher announces that Dutch coach Martin Jol will lead the club for one and a half years," Ahly said in a statement on their official website.

"The new coach will arrive in Cairo on Sunday to begin his mission."

Caretaker coach Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Shafi 'Zizo' was earlier told by businessman Taher that he would carry on until the end of the season after Ahly recorded four straight wins under his guidance, including a convincing 2-0 victory over title holders and arch rivals Zamalek in the Cairo derby.

However, a buoyant Ahly then came down to earth with three consecutive draws that trimmed their lead at the top to three points after they led with seven points following the derby triumph.

Murmurs of discontent echoed among the Ahly supporters following an exciting 2-2 draw with third-placed Masry on Tuesday, with the Red Devils twice coming from a goal down to secure a share of spoils in yet another uninspiring display.

Jol is the first Dutchman to take charge of Egypt and Africa's most successful side following Jo Bonfrere, whose one-year tenure was a painful one for Ahly's faithful after they saw the team squander a two-point lead over Zamalek on the last day of the 2002-03 season to gift the league title to their bitter foes.

Ghaly reunion

The 60-year-old Jol reunites with Ahly skipper Hossam Ghaly after he played under him at Tottenham, where they had an infamous touchline row during a Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers in May 2007.

Ghaly threw his Tottenham shirt to the ground after being substituted, sparking angry responses from the Spurs' supporters which eventually cost him his place at the club although he had already resolved his differences with Jol.

Jol also managed German side Hamburg and several clubs in the Netherlands including giants Ajax Amsterdam. He has been out of job since leaving Fulham in December 2013.

His only achievements were winning the Dutch cup with Roda JC in 1997 and Ajax in 2010.

"The deal with Jol will add to the club as he boasts a good resume and fine records with the teams he managed in England and the Netherlands," Ahly chairman Taher said.

"He will be able to fulfil the ambitions of the club and its supporters."

Jol's primary task will be helping Ahly win the premier domestic competition after their eight-season hegemony was ended by Zamalek last term.

The club are also seeking to win a record-extending ninth African Champions League title and their first since 2013.

Zamalek are expected to name another Briton as their new coach in Scottish Alex McLeish.

© Copyright Al-Ahram Publishing House

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