Sparky's Column

  • Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

    Monday 15th Jul, 2013

    In what must be one of the most audacious moves in UAE football history, Cosmin Olaroiu has made the switch to Al Ahli from champions Al Ain. The move is as unexpected as it is controversial. The Romanian's pen was hovering over a contract at Al Ain before he decided to put the biro back in his pocket and hotfoot it down the E66 to Al Ahli. ...

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  • The Boys of Summer

    Sunday 7th Jul, 2013

    It is amazing what a difference a few weeks makes in football. We were all set to see Cosmin Olaroiu continue at the champions' helm with a much-improved contract. His brief simple: lead Al Ain in the quest for the third League title in a row, whilst playing in the most state-of-the-art stadium in the Gulf. Allegedly this was all thrown into doubt when Coach Cosmin returned from holiday to see one or two contract clauses he didn't like. Al Ahli have jumped in with an offer of a longer contract and, depe...

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  • New Beginnings

    Sunday 30th Jun, 2013

    The heat of the summer means that football is the furthest thing from a most people's minds, but we are two weeks away from the start of pre-season for most clubs in the Arabian Gulf League. With pre-season being weeks away, ......

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  • Hello Goodbye

    Thursday 13th Jun, 2013

    The parting of ways between a coach and club is rarely amicable, usually one party or other is left wounded by the experience. The rare occasion that they do part on good terms can be an emotional one. The press conference to announce Quique Sanchez Flores' departure was an occasion filled with raw emotion. ...

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  • And Now the End is Near

    Wednesday 29th May, 2013

    The end is nigh for for another season; the loose ends are tied up in terms of silverware, relegation and even league names. Al Ahli finished the season on a high claiming the President's Cup in dramatic fashion. The 4-3 victory looked unlikely for large parts of the game as Al Ahli crumbled, giving up a two goal lead followed by Grafite missing a penalty. The decisive goal came from Al Shabab but sadly for them it was their own net, leaving Al Ahli to claim the trophy for the eighth time. ...

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