Former Tottenham manager Martin Jol attends a press conference in Al-Ahly club as he was unveiled as the new coach for Egyptian Premier League leaders Al-Ahly in Cairo, Egypt, March 1, 2016 (Reuters)
Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Martin Jol, who has been unveiled as Ahly's new coach, has expressed delight over his move, commenting on a reunion with Hossam Ghaly.
Before he accepted Ahly's offer, Jol said he consulted former Egyptian players at Tottenham, Hossam Ghaly and Ahmed 'Mido' Hossam along with former Broussia Dortmund striker Mohamed Zidan.
"I called Ghaly four times. He is Ahly captain now. I also consulted my friend Mido and they played a key role in accepting the deal," Jol said during his press conference at Ahly.
Ghaly, a talented central midfielder, was heavily criticised by Tottenham fans for the famous shirt tantrum in an English Premier League game in 2007 and was eventually shown the door.
After being substituted in a league clash against Blackburn Rovers, he threw his shirt to the ground in protest.
"I don't know if Ghaly already forgave me or not," Jol said.
Full technical staff announced
Ahly have announced that Jol will be assisted by football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz and Osama Orabi, Mohamed Abdel-Azim, Tarek Soliman, and Mohamed Abou El-Ela.
Jol has praised former interim coach Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Shafy and the new technical staff.
"I consider my assistants to be like my sons while I consider Zizo to be my father and I don't even know who is older."
Jol will be attending Wednesday's game when the Reds host Petrojet at Borg El-Arab stadium, Alexandria in the Egyptian Premier League.
It is not yet decided whether Jol will be taking full responsibility after Petrojet's game or after Maqassa's on Saturday.
Popularity of Ahly
Jol also spoke about the popularity of the Egyptian club and promised fans a good season.
"I have received another two offers from Egyptian clubs but I chose Ahly because of its wide popularity and long history," Jol said during the press conference.
"I was told in England that Ahly have more than 40 million fans and when I arrived in Egypt they say there are 50 million. Some people in the hotel told me that there are more than 70 million Ahly fans," the 60-year-old tactician revealed.
Jol, 60, is a former coach of many European outfits including Tottenham, Scheveningen, Roda JC, RKC Waalwijk, Hamburger SV and Ajax. He has been unemployed since he left Fulham in December 2013.
Ahly are the record holders of seven African Champions League titles and 37 Egyptian Premier League trophies on top of the Egyptian league table with 41 points after playing 19 matches, three ahead of Egyptian champions Zamalek.
Zamalek have also installed a new coach of late, having sacked ex-Tottenham player Ahmed "Mido" Hossam and appointed Scottish boss Alex McLeish.
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