The four clubs of Abu Dhabi taking part in the UAE First Division League this season have completed their final preparations. Three of them are favourites to win the domestic title.
League champions Al Wahda returned from their training camp in Germany, led by their German coach Rainer Hollman, and continued with their domestic preparations at home, playing their last friendly game against Bahrain's Al Shabab.
Al Wahda have signed Brazilian striker Fabio Junior to replace their former attacker Toni, from Cote D'Viore. Junior has made a successful partnership with Metrovic, from Bosnia, and is expected to lead the team in domestic and continental competitions in the new season.
Al Wahda will begin their campaign to defend their title in Ras Al Khaimah on September 1 against Emirates Club.
Al Ain, the President's Cup champions and runners-up of the League, will reach home today after playing against AS Roma on Wednesday in the Italian capital where they lost the important encounter 2-0. Al Ain, the UAE's only representatives in the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League, have held training camps in Switzerland, Spain and Italy where they played against top clubs, including Getafe and Numancia. Al Ain, feature two new professionals, Tejada and Alberto Blanco, both from Panama.
Al Ain will kick off their matches at home against Al Nasr on September 1.
Al Jazira, who finished third last season, were the first team to return from their training camp in The Netherlands. They organised a friendly tournament at Zayed Sports City with the participation of Al Ahli from Qatar and Al Rifaa from Bahrain.
They finished second, but the big gain was that the meeting helped their youngsters prove their worth. Tamir Mohammad, Ahmad Musallam, Mohammad Jawhar and new custodian Abdul Nasir Abdullah were quite impressive. Moreover, the tournament enabled the players to get used to the Zayed Sports City ground where they will play all their home matches in the new season as their home ground, the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium, is under construction.
Meanwhile, Bani Yas, the fourth team in the capital, were the second division champions last season and they return to the premier division after three years.