Abu Dhabi: Czech coach Karel Jarolim will take charge of Al Wahda this summer on a two-year deal, according to the club.
The 56-year-old replaces Austrian caretaker coach Josef Hickersberger, who stood in for the last three games of the season after the sacking of Croatian coach Branko Ivankovic. Jarolim joins from Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli of Jeddah where he won the Kings Cup of Champions in 2012 and also finished second in the Saudi Professional League and AFC Asian Champions League the same year.
He played in midfield for Slavia Prague over three spells before managing the team on a further three occasions and was named Czech Coach of the Year for his two Czech league titles at the club in 2008 and 2009. Having scored two goals in 13 appearances for the former Czechoslovakia between 1982 and 1987, Jarolim also played in France for FC Rouen and SC Amiens and was the assistant coach of Racing Strasbourg.
He will be entrusted with reversing the fortunes of Al Wahda, who since their 2010 league title have slipped to fourth, sixth and seventh in the table. Their only silverware since then was the 2011 Super Cup title.
Outgoing Al Wahda coach Hickersberger warned incoming Jarolim that he would struggle next season. Speaking to the press after Al Wahda’s 2-2 draw away to Al Jazira in the last game of the season on Saturday, Hickersberger said: “It will not be an easy task for the next coach because Al Wahda do not have a team which is competitive enough to go for silverware. This is the truth.”
No coach for Al Wasl
Elsewhere, Al Wasl coach Eid Baroot has confirmed his return to newly promoted Emirates Club, leaving the Zabeel outfit in search of a new manager. Al Wasl play their last game of the season at home to newly crowned GCC Champions League winners Bani Yas on Monday at 6.15pm. Bani Yas have already confirmed a fourth placed league finish and would need to beat Al Wasl 8-0 to go third, while Al Wasl are already confirmed ninth.
Baroot had been Al Wasl’s fourth manager of the season following Diego Maradona’s sacking last summer and the next manager will need to bring stability to a club that despite headlines hasn’t won anything in three years. Their last trophy was the GCC Champions League title in 2010 and in the six seasons since their last league title, they haven’t finished above fifth.