Al Sailiya hope to better last season’s show
August 21 2019 10:11 PM
Sami Trablesi
Al Sailiya coach Sami Trablesi (centre) addresses the media ahead of his team’s match against Al Khor.

By Sports Reporter/Doha

Having exceeded expectations last season with a third place finish, Al Sailiya will be hoping to further improve their standing in domestic football when they take on Al Khor in their first match of the 2019-2020 QNB Stars League today.
Coached by Tunisian Sami Trablesi, Al Sailiya racked up 38 points last season to finish behind champions Al Sadd and second-placed Al Duhail, narrowly beating former champions Al Rayyan to the third spot.
It was their most successful show in the tournament, but Trablesi feels they can do better this time.
“We enter the new season with greater ambitions. The start is certainly not going to be easy as all teams are back from the preparatory period,” Trablesi said at his pre-match press conference.
“We’ve signed many players, foreign and local, and the team is developing and improving day by day as a collective unit. We want to display the same identity we showed last season with better levels.”
Al Sailiya will be also taking part in the AFC Champions League, something which Trablesi is looking forward to.
“We’ve a tough season as we’ll participate for the first time in the AFC Champions League and that requires us to be on top of technical readiness, especially since we signed a number of outstanding players. Al Sailiya is a side that always shows fighting spirit,” said Trablesi.
“We expect the league competition to be stronger this season. There are many changes at all clubs and we’re always keen to be in utmost readiness for all games.
“Most of our new recruits weren’t key players in their teams. But as always, I’m satisfied when I’ve one or two stars in the squad. We don’t want to put ourselves under pressure by saying we’ll compete for the title. We take one game at a time,” added Trabelsi.
Meanwhile, Al Khor coach Omar Najhi said his team’s pre-season camp in Europe has done them a world of good.
“I was happy with the good conditions in which the team prepared for the new season, which started in Doha on July 1 and then moved to the external camp set up by the team in the Netherlands, where we played many friendly matches. We focused on the physical and technical preparations of players in the camp,” said Najhi.
“We were also keen to find harmony between the old and new players. In general, we were satisfied with the work done by everyone during the camp, even after returning to Doha, which witnessed the final preparations for the league.
“We are facing Al Sailiya in the first round in the QNB Stars League. We go into the game with great enthusiasm. Their coach Sami Trabelsi is doing a great job and succeeded in maintaining the stability of the team. Their team management supported the players to the hilt.
“However, Al Sailiya are no strangers to Al Khor. We will work hard to collect full points that will boost the morale of our players,” added Najhi.
In today’s other match, Al Shahania will take on Al Gharafa with both teams aiming to improve.
 “We want to build on last season’s good results. We’ve worked well in preparation for the season and the first game. Our goal this season is a strong finish, like the one we had last season. We play as a fighting group and that’s one of our strengths,” said Al Shahania coach Jose Murica
“Al Gharafa are a big team and have made several changes. They’re also keen to better their results this season and we respect them. They’ve a good coach, but that doesn’t prevent us from playing to win against them,” said Murcia.
Al Gharafa coach Slavisa Jokanovic was also positive.
 “We’ve prepared the team well for QNB Stars League. We had worked to make the team fully ready before the kick-off and produce good results. I wish we win our first game, against Al Shahania at the Al Janoub Stadium on Thursday,’ said Jokanovic.
“Qatar is a beautiful country and I’m happy to be here. As for the competition, I’ve played football in many leagues. It’s the ambition of every coach to win and make a good team with a special identity.
“I won’t compare Al Gharafa’s performance last season and this season. The team has a new coach and new players. We’ve some good new professional players and we’re awaiting another player.
“We also have young players with experience and we’ll focus on achieving stability in order to obtain positive results.”

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