Zamalek coach Jesualdo Ferreira
“I am satisfied with the performance of Zamalek youth players. Some of them will be the future of both the team and the national football team,” the Portuguese coach said in the press conference after the game.
Zamalek, who were crowned with the league title with three games left on the seson, fielded a starting line-up featuring only youngsters who slumped to a 1-2 loss to arelegated Eastern Company.
“Our youth players have great potentials, but they needed to play more," he stressed.
“ But there is something wrong in the system. Youth players in Egypt are 23 years old when in other countries their average age is 16 or 17," he noted.
"The football association should organise youth competitions in a way that allows them the chance to play in first teams at a younger age."
Ferreira, who was appointed in March for a second stint with the White Knights, used several youth players in order to fill voids in key positions and clinch their second successive league titles.
The 76-year old coach won a remarkable domestic double with Zamalek in his first stint with the team in 2014-2015.
Zamalek will be facing Saudi side Al Hilal in the Saudi-Egyptian Super Cup on 9 September before facing Elect-Sport FC of Chad in the preliminary round of the African Champions league on 10 and 17 of the same month.
Ferreira stressed that his senior players need rest to be ready for a new season especially amid a compact league schedule, adding that youth players will have a key role in the upcoming games.
“The majority of our team that won the league title will be playing in the Super Cup game. Also many of our youth players who appeared this season will remain in the senior squad in the new season,” the coach revealed.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)