Abu Dhabi: Al Jazira coach Henk ten Cate has said the only reason he left the club last week was to spend more time with family.
The Dutchman had complained about a lack of players and having to rely on youth throughout much of last season where they finished seventh in the league and crashed out in the Last 16 of the Asian Champions League.
It was a far cry from Al Jazira’s 2016 President’s Cup and 2016/17 Arabian Gulf League win under Ten Cate, but they did at least reach the semi-finals of the Fifa Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi last year, losing 2-1 to Real Madrid, which was the farthest a UAE club had ever been in three attempts.
“I spent 40 years playing and training, on a bus ride, with more than one club, and it was time to rest, so I could spend more time with my family,” the 63-year-old former Chelsea and Barcelona assistant told Arabic media.
“I want to emphasise that there are no other reasons why I did not renew my contract with Al Jazira, which I consider my home, and the players my children.
“I will always be behind the team but, as I said, I need to rest after all these years in football. Sometimes things are more important and must be dealt with, and my sense now is that I want to compensate my family for the past years and that is the most important thing for me.
“I’ve just finished one of my best training periods. I’ve made many achievements with the team, which have entered the club’s long history and have also entered my personal account as a coach.
“But I have not had a chance to sit with my family because of training over the past years with all the teams I’ve worked with and my frequent travels.
“I thank everyone for this wonderful period of my career, I thank the fans and the club for their constant motivation for me and the team.”
Ten Cate played for 11 years representing six clubs between 1975 and 1986 before becoming a manager in 1990, after which he worked with 18 teams.