Ahly appoint Swiss Koller as new coach to take over from Soares

Ahram Online , Friday 9 Sep 2022

Ahly named former Basel and Austria coach Marcel Koller as their new manager on Friday as he takes over from Portuguese Ricardo Soares, whose brief tenure lasted only two months.

Marcel Koller

 

"We are delighted to announce that the Swiss manager Marcel Koller will be our manager for the next two years," Ahly said in a statement on their official website.

The Red Devils made an uncharacteristic and bold move by dismissing Soares in late August after he failed to turn around their fortunes following a poor end to the season.

Ahly finished third in the Egyptian Premier League to fall out of the top two for the first time in 30 years, with Soares coming under fire even though he had to play with a weakened side full of youngsters in the last few games of the season to comply with a decision from the club's board.

The club believed the 47-year-old was not the right man to lead the team for the new season as they seek to wrestle the league title back from arch-rivals Zamalek, who won the premier domestic competition two times in a row.

Koller has been without a club since leaving Swiss giants Basel in the summer of 2020.

The experienced 61-year-old led Austria for six years, qualifying them for only their second Euro tournament in 2016. They collected just one point to finish at the bottom of their group, which also included Hungary, Iceland and eventual champions Portugal.

Koller won the Swiss league title with St Gallen in 2000 and the Swiss Cup with Basel in 2019. He also coached FC Cologne and VfL Bochum in the German Bundesliga.

"The coach will arrive in Cairo on Saturday with his three assistants to start his mission with the Red Eagles," the club added.

Koller, who is the second Swiss to take charge of Ahly after Rene Weiler (August 2019 - September 2020), will lead the Cairo giants in their pre-season preparations, with the team expected to hold a training camp in Turkey.

His first official commitment will be a two-legged clash against a yet-to-be-determined opponent in the African Champions League second preliminary round next month.

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