Martin Jol impressed by fan passion in Ahly's training session

Ahram Online , Wednesday 9 Mar 2016

Martin Jol
Ahly's new coach Martin Jol (the club's official Facebook page)

When Martin Jol watched an Ahly training session that was held long before he took over at Egypt's most popular club, he was impressed with the reception the team got from their hardcore supporters.

The Dutchman was videoed by Egyptian sports website while watching a video of that training session, which he said was held last year. He enthusiastically reacted to the passionate cheers and songs of the die-hard Ultras Ahlawy fan group.

"I saw the training session which was five or six months ago. I sent it [to my friends] to Holland and England and it was the best experience in a training session ever," Jol, who last month became the third coach to guide Ahly this season after Portuguese Jose Peseiro and caretaker Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Shafi 'Zizo', said in the video.

"I feel very proud," the former Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham and Hamburg boss added.

The main fan groups of Ahly and Zamalek made numerous calls for the authorities to lift a long-standing crowd ban in domestic competitions but Egypt's interior ministry, citing security concerns, insisted time was not yet suitable for the supporters to return to the stands.

The fan groups repeatedly storm venues during handball and basketball games featuring Ahly and Zamalek.

Ahly claimed a convincing 2-1 Egyptian Premier League victory over Maqassa to give Jol a winning debut on Saturday.

The Red Devils are seeking to wrestle the title back from Zamalek after their eight-season hegemony was ended by their cross-town rivals last term.

Ahly are on top of the league table with 47 points, six clear of second-placed Zamalek.

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