Abu Dhabi: Bani Yas again hope to be in contention for honours next season, their assistant coach said on Saturday.

The Abu Dhabi outfit finished second in the Etisalat Pro League last season, and Salim Al Orfi is optimistic of continuing this form under new Czech coach Jozef Chovanec.

Speaking as the club started their preparations for the new season, Al Orfi said: “We are optimistic of doing well in the new season and we hope to compete for top places bearing in mind that we finished second in the 2010-11 season.

“We have talented young players who form the backbone of the UAE Olympic team taking part in the London Olympic Games and also some experienced players.

“We are hoping to find the magical combination that will realise the club’s goals in the new season bearing in mind that we also finished runners up in the President’s Cup last season and reached the second round of the AFC Champions League in our debut season in the continental competition.”

He added that the club were targeting players from abroad, including a new midfielder and striker to play alongside Andre Senghor from Senegal and Oman’s Fawzi Bashir.

Al Orfi also stressed the importance of patience for the new coach Chovanec.

He said: “The new coach needs time to get to know the capabilities of his players, especially those who will miss the first phase of preparations playing for the national team.”

The club are organising a friendly tournament during Ramadan, with other strong Arab clubs expected to be invited to take part.