Ismaily have named Egypt’s all-time leading scorer Hossam Hassan as their new coach early on Tuesday after he left Zamalek last month while midfielder Hosni Abd-Rabou extended his stay at the club to end speculation regarding his future.
Hassan, who was dismissed by Zamalek after they surrendered a six-point lead over Ahly to gift their arch rivals a seventh consecutive Egyptian Premier League title last season, will succeed Emad Soliman at Ismaily’s helm.
His twin brother Ibrahim Hassan, who also worked with him at Zamalek, was appointed as Ismaily’s football director.
Ismaily could only finish third behind Ahly and Zamalek to extend their trophy drought to nine years, having failed to win any title since their 2002 league triumph.
The bald-headed Hassan, whose quick temper landed him in numerous troubles last season, vowed to help Ismaily, who are suffering from persistent financial problems, end their long wait for a major title.
“I’m honored to be in charge of this club, which is one of the best in Egypt and the middle east,” Hassan, who also coached Masry and Telecom Egypt but is yet to win any title as a manager, said during a news conference.
“Ismaily boast many good players. My target will be leading the team to a trophy following a lengthy drought.”
Ismaily’s future looked bleak last week after the majority of the board members handed in their resignation after failing to withstand pressure from the team’s ever-demanding and enthusiastic supporters, given the lack of funds needed to strengthen the squad and keep hold of stars.
Holding midfielder Abd-Rabou, an Egypt star who was voted as the best player in the Pharaohs’ 2008 African Cup of Nations triumphant campaign, was on the verge of exiting Ismaily after failing to agree a new deal, with reports suggesting that he would join Zamalek.
However, the return of chairman Yehia El-Koumy, a wealthy businessman who was in charge of Ismaily few years ago, prompted him to change his heart and eventually stay at his boyhood club.
The 26-year-old signed a new three-year contract that will keep him at the Dervishes until 2014.
“Although I received many offers, I could not leave the club where I was raised as a youngster,” Abd-Rabou said.
“I appreciate the efforts done by other clubs to sign me but I’m sure they are aware that I love Ismaily very much.”