Koller hails fantastic season with Ahly, says Egyptian league is demanding

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 15 Jul 2023

Ahly’s coach Marcel Koller has hailed his outstanding season with the Cairo giants, stressing that competing in the demanding Egyptian Premier League is far from simple.

File Photo: Ahly coach Marcel Koller. AL Ahly Official Website

During the ten-month spell of the 62-year-old Swiss tactician, Ahly has won all the titles they competed for so far including; two Super Cup titles, Egypt Cup, the African Champions League and finally securing a record-extending 43rd league title with the team still having four matches in hand.

“My team and I simply wanted to be successful here. And it turned out to be a fantastic season in which we won almost everything,” Koller said in an interview with Swiss website SRF published on Saturday.

 “Of course, we also felt the pressure from the tens of millions of Ahly fans in the country. They are very demanding and actually always demand victories. A draw in matches is already a bit dissatisfying, but we have adjusted to that,” the coach added.

Ahly's season is far from over as the team still plans to contest the Egypt Cup, in addition to the upcoming Egyptian Super Cup 2023 and the African Super Cup 2023.

Ahly has not lost a single league game since the start of the season; a great achievement for the Reds, says Koller, amid stiff competition.

“The league is not as simple as one might think. Defense is a priority for all teams. And when they play against us, the opponents primarily try to keep the zero. That doesn't make the task easy for us,” the Ahly coach explained.

The coach also hailed his team’s success in facing counterattacks and set pieces so far, hoping to extend the winning streak through the last four games of the season.

No advice from Weiler, stay is expected

Koller is the second Swiss coach to take charge of Ahly after Rene Weiler. Weiler led the team successfully from August 2019 to October 2020, but Koller denies consulting his countryman about the job.

“No. I have never done that. I have to collect my own experiences, form my own opinion on-site. I want to approach a new task with an open mind because every person is different,” the Ahly coach said.

On 9 September 2022, Koller signed a two-year contract with Ahly, succeeding Portuguese coach Ricardo Soares. The Ahly coach said he is fully concentrated on his work, expecting to stay until the contract's end.

“I have signed a two-year contract and expect to stay here for another year,” Koller said.

“As a coach, I never plan too much in advance because I know how fast-moving the coaching business can be. I just try to give everything where I'm employed. And if both sides are satisfied, then there might be an extension. And if not, then you have to sit together,” he concluded.

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