Saudi Arabia side Al-Nassr land Socceroos international Brad Jones

Brad Jones has signed for Al-Nassr on a two-year deal. (AFP)
Updated 02 August 2018

Saudi Arabia side Al-Nassr land Socceroos international Brad Jones

  • Jones will keep goal for the side who finished third last season
  • Former Liverpool stopper joins Amrabat and Ramos in Riyadh

LONDON: Al-Nassr continue to make waves in the transfer market after they followed up two headline-grabbing additions by landing Australian international goalkeeper Brad Jones.
Jones, 36, has spent the last two seasons at Dutch giants Feyenoord, winning the league the season before last, and it is thought they were keen to keep the goalkeeper at De Kuip. But Jones has decided to end his time in Holland and move to Saudi Arabia on a free transfer, signing a two-year contract. He is Al-Nassr’s third big summer signing, following on from Moroccan World Cup star Nordin Amrabat and Peru international Christian Ramos.
“I can announce that I’m leaving Feyenoord to move to Saudi Arabia,” said Jones in a video interview on Twitter. “It’s been a fantastic two years, I’vee enjoyed every minute of it. It’s been an honor to be part of the success we’ve had in bringing trophies to the club. I would like to thank the support given to me over this time. I wish club all the success for the future and hopefully there will be more trophies to come. I’ll be supporting from afar.”

Born in Perth, Jones is used to playing abroad having spent 16 years playing in England, including five at Liverpool. He has won five caps for Australia and was part of their squad at the World Cup in Russia.
Jones is the second Australian keeper to move to the Kingdom this week. Jack Duncan, 25, has swapped life at Newcastle Jets for a new career at Al-Qadsiah where he joins fellow countryman Rhys Williams. The Jets have accepted a “significant” transfer fee from Al-Qadsiah for 25-year-old Australia youth international Duncan after a transfer clause was triggered in his contract.
“I made my A-League debut with the Jets, the club has given me so much,” Duncan said in a farewell interview at the club’s training camp in Spain. “I’ve grown as a player during my time in Newcastle, I’ve had some great times and worked with some fantastic people. This is a great opportunity to develop my career and one that I couldn’t pass up.”
Jets boss Ernie Merrick said it was a blow to lose Duncan.
“I’m extremely disappointed to lose Jack, but he’s been offered an opportunity that he wants to pursue,” Merrick said. “He’s a great team man and well-respected member of this club. His engagement with our fans and his contribution to the Newcastle community shouldn’t be overlooked. At his age and with his ability, I think Jack has the potential to go onto big things and I wish him the very best with the next step in his career.”

From near-death in Libyan desert to Saudi Arabia in 40 years: A history of the Dakar Rally

Updated 25 April 2019

From near-death in Libyan desert to Saudi Arabia in 40 years: A history of the Dakar Rally

  • Race will start in Jeddah and make a stop in Riyadh before ending in Qiddiya
  • Take a look back at the most momentous moments

LONDON: A new and exciting chapter in the prestigious history of the Dakar Rally is ready to be written as the world’s biggest and most challenging rally confirmed it will debut in Saudi Arabia in January 2020.

1977: Inspiration
Biker Thierry Sabine gets lost in the Libyan desert while competing in the Abidjan-Nice Rally. After being rescued from the sands on the verge of death, he vows to share the scale and magic of the desert with the whole world.

1978: A dream come true
On 26 December 1978, a field of 170 adventurers starts its 10,000-kilometer quest through Algeria, Niger, Mali, the Upper Volta, and Senegal. A total of 74 vehicles make it to the finish on Place de l’Indépendance in Dakar, with Cyril Neveu at the helm.

1983: Ickx on all fronts
Celebrities and the best drivers and riders in the world heed the call of the Dakar. The combination is a successful one, with the six-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Jacky Ickx and comedian Claude Brasseur taking the spoils in the fourth edition.

1986: Tragedy strikes
Thierry Sabine and Daniel Balavoine die in a helicopter crash alongside pilot François-Xavier Bagnoud, journalist Nathalie Odent and radio technician Jean-Paul Lefur. Gilbert Sabine, the father of the creator of the race, takes over as director.

1992: Africa from north to south
The Dakar takes a break from the capital of Senegal to pit the competitors against the challenge of a lifetime. The drivers and riders have to tackle a route of almost 12,500 kilometers through 11 countries to cross Africa from one side to the other and reach Cape Town in South Africa. Stéphane Peterhansel (motorbikes) and Hubert Auriol (cars) stand atop the podium at the end of the Odyssey.

1998: Peterhansel rolls a six
The biker with a blue bandana emerges victorious from a clash of titans with Orioli and Arcarons to become the undisputed master of the category in the 1990s. His sixth win catapults him past Cyril Neveu as the event record holder. “Peter” has since added seven car victories to his tally!

2000: At the foot of the pyramids
The Dakar marks the turn of the century next to one of the seven wonders of the world: the Great Pyramid of Giza. Reigning champions Richard Sainct (motorbikes) and Jean-Louis Schlesser (cars) both manage to defend their titles against this prestigious backdrop.

2001: Miss Dakar
No one suspects that this will be the last Paris–Dakar. In contrast, everyone sees Jutta Kleinschmidt, who had made her Dakar debut in 1988 on a motorbike, become the first woman to win the rally, this time racing at the wheel of a Mitsubishi 4×4. She remains the only female winner of the event to date.

2009: Rising from the ashes in Buenos Aires
The Dakar picks itself up and crosses the Atlantic to rise from the ashes. A new era dawns with 4 million spectators turning out in force to cheer on the drivers and riders in the majestic landscapes of Argentina and Chile.

2012: Pacific Challenge
After three years with a route starting and ending in Buenos Aires, the organizers break the mold with a finish on the Pacific coast of Lima, Peru.

2014: Dizzying heights
Bolivia becomes the 28th country to host the Dakar. The Altiplano and Salar de Uyuni introduce a new test for the competitors: extreme altitude, which takes a toll on both their bodies and their machines.

2020: Chapter 3
In the wake of its first foray into Paraguay in 2017, the Dakar adds the 30th country to its list. In Saudi Arabia, the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula, the competitors will face challenges such as the “Empty Quarter,” a pristine expanse that has never been explored fully before.