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Sierra to write his own success story at Shabab Ahli

New Chilean coach aims to break losing cycle and nostalgia for Cosmin

Image Credit: Ashley Hammond/Gulf News
Khalid Bu Humaid welcomes Jose Luis Sierra during the press conference to unveil the new coach.
Gulf News

Dubai: Jose Luis Sierra promised to write his own success story as the new coach of Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club and that will stop the need for constant comparisons to his predecessor Cosmin Olaroiu.

Olaroiu won two league titles, two league cups, three super cups and finished runner-up in the 2015 Asian Champions League final when he was coach of Al Ahli between 2013 and 2017, before making way for Mahdi Ali midway through last season.

Ali arrested a decline at the club after it was merged with Al Shabab and Dubai Club to finish fifth last season, but now Sierra has arrived to do the rest.

“Whenever a new coach comes in, he wants to make his own story with that team rather than being compared to other coaches,” said the 49-year-old Chilean who joins from Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad on an undisclosed contract length.

“That was a different success story and now I’m aiming to write my own. I may be famous to some of you, I may not, but my list of accomplishments are known in South America, I’m sure no one knows about that here but it doesn’t matter,” added the former midfielder, who represented Chile at the 1998 World Cup and went on to manage both his old clubs Union Espanola and Colo-Colo to two Chilean league titles in 2013 and 2015.

He led Al Ittihad to last year’s Crown Prince Cup and this year’s Kings Cup, but finished ninth in the Saudi league, which is his worst finish in two seasons at the Jeddah outfit, having finished fourth last year.

“When it comes to winning, obviously when in charge of such a big club I know what responsibility I’m holding and despite challenges we know we will need to break a cycle to start winning again and that’s what we will work towards.”

Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club struggled last season in their first year since being merged from three clubs Al Shabab, Al Ahli and Dubai Club, hence the sacking of Olaroiu and Ali’s refusal to stay on.

However, Shabab Ahli official Khalid Bu Humaid said they would start afresh with Sierra. “As first years go with a new club it wasn’t bad, we need time, we start from now and hope this year will be different.”

So far, Shabab Ahli have only confirmed one foreign signing in Argentine midfielder Mauro Diaz from America’s FC Dallas. They will start training on July 10 and travel to Spain for pre-season camp from July 16 to August 11.

 

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