Ahly coach Soares says league tight schedule leaves 'little time for training'

Mahmoud Elassal , Monday 25 Jul 2022

Despite beating Gouna 2-0 in the 26th matchday of the Egyptian Premier League (EPL) and staying within striking distance of the title, Ahly’s Portuguese coach Ricardo Soares criticised the league’s tight schedule, saying players do not have time to adequately train between games.

 Ahly coach Soares


“The games schedule is very tight; Ahly has been playing a game every three days without a break for four years. Who can endure this?” the 47-year-old Portuguese coach told the post-game press conference.

The Red Devils are scheduled to face Maqassa on Wednesday - on only two days of rest - in the 27th matchday of the league.

Teams have been forced in recent years to play a game in the premier league every three days to make up for multiple extended delays in schedule due to international and other obligations.

Ahly needed two late goals to down a resilient Gouna on Sunday to stay close to leading duo Zamalek and Pyramids FC, who are at the top of the EPL’s table.

After Sunday's victory, Ahly lie third on the EPL’s table with 51 points, nine points behind leaders Zamalek, and 5 behind Pyramids FC, who both played two games more.

“I thank the players for their effort during the game as they played in difficult circumstances, especially after losing the Egypt Cup title,” Soares said.

“Egypt’s national team will also be affected by the tight schedule,” he added.

“I accept all criticism, but the players are very exhausted, as we only undergo a recovery programme after every game, and there simply isn’t enough time to train properly.”

Soares had to lead the team in 5 games since taking the helm at the Red Devils from the the South African Pitso Mosimane two weeks ago.

However, Soares remained assured in his belief that “Ahly is a big team, and there is no choice except victory.”

Ahly failed to claim the 2020/21 Egypt Cup title after losing the final game to arch-rivals Zamalek 1-2 on Thursday.

“We lost an important title, but we still have more games, and we are eager to continue competing for the league’s title,” the coach concluded.

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