Al-Hilal search for new coach leads them to Sporting boss Jorge Jesus

Jorge Jesus has not had the success at Sporting that he achieved at Lisbon rivals Benfica.
Updated 14 May 2018

Al-Hilal search for new coach leads them to Sporting boss Jorge Jesus

  • Jorge Jesus seen as man who can lead Al-Hilal to AFC Champions League glory.
  • Riyadh giants have been knocked back by Shakhtar Donetsk boss Paulo Fonseca.

LONDON: Al-Hilal have turned to the Portuguese market in their efforts to secure a coach capable of leading Saudi Arabia’s premier club to a third AFC Champions League title.
Arab News has learned of approaches made to Sporting manager Jorge Jesus and also Paulo Fonseca, who plans to leave Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk at the end of the current campaign.
Jesus is contracted to Sporting for one more year, however financial and political problems at the Lisbon club may facilitate a parting of the ways with a manager whose salary of more than €5 million ($5.9 million) is the highest ever paid in the Primeira Liga. Recruited at unprecedented expense from city rivals Benfica in 2015 with the aim of returning the Portuguese title to Sporting for the first time in more than a decade, Jesus has delivered one second-place finish, one third-place finish and has already ceded this season’s Liga to FC Porto.
In his six years at Benfica, Jesus won the league three times, added six domestic cups and led the club to back-to-back Europa League finals. The 63-year-old has never played or coached outside Portugal and speaks little English, but may be tempted by the financial terms on offer in the Kingdom.
Fonseca met representatives of Al-Hilal in England last week to discuss the vacant position and, according to a close friend, said no to the chance of leading the Riyadh giants. The former Sporting Braga, FC Porto and Pacos de Ferreira boss is out of contract this summer after leading Shakhtar to the 2016-17 title and becoming the first coach to defeat Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City this season.
The 45-year-old was ready to succeed Ronald Koeman as Everton manager in November, only for the appointment to be blocked by Shakhtar. Fonseca would like his next position to be at an English Premier League club and he is understood to have been included on a long list of potential candidates to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
Al-Hilal dismissed Ramon Diaz in February, midway through a disastrous AFC Champions League group-stage campaign. Diaz’s assistant Juan Ignacio Brown took over on a caretaker basis, ultimately overseeing a final-day Saudi Professional League title success.
As reported by Arab News this month, Al-Hilal’s efforts to secure a leading European coach have also seen Quique Sanchez Flores turn down the vacant post. It is understood that a salary in excess of €6 million has been made available for the right candidate.


Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

Updated 18 November 2019

Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

  • First woman from the Kingdom to compete in the championship in Indonesia

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is sending its first woman to compete in the 55th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup that begins in Indonesia.

Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.

Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating in the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating in the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The men’s competition started Sunday at 9 p.m.

The women’s competition will begin at 3 p.m. today, where Mashael will take part in six rounds. The competition will run until Nov. 24.

HIGHLIGHT

  • Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.
  • Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating at the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating at the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The competition continues on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and after completing 24 rounds, the top 24 players will be selected to compete for the top eight positions by playing eight runs on Friday. On Saturday, the best four female players and four male players will be chosen to compete in the finals.

Abdulrahman said that he is looking forward to the world cup. “This year there is a new advantage and that is having teammate Mashael joining me for the first time. I’m proud of her! It’s a big thing for Saudi women and for us in the team because this world exposure will help them to learn and give them an incentive to develop their skills,” he said.

The 20-year-old player has been bowling for the past 10 years. Despite his young age, thanks to his perseverance and sense of discipline he managed to win many victories, but the most distinguished were those in 2018. He delivered the bronze medal at the World Cup in Detroit, and two bronzes at the Asian Bowling Championship in the Philippines in the same year, and a gold medal for the trio event at the Arab Bowling Championship in Oman.

Mashael, 32, was only able to play officially last year in February 2018 when the Saudi Bowling Federation (SBF) received the decree to allow women to play in sports. However, she has been playing for fun since early childhood when she used to travel to Egypt with her family and where she managed to learn from the professionals and get hooked on the game. Mashael was chosen to take part in the Egypt Arab Championship and World Bowling Women’s Championship in Las Vegas in August 2018.

Mashael said: “Playing for fun is definitely enjoyable but when you wear your country’s flag that’s a huge responsibility put on your shoulder. You become an ambassador and a role model and when I’m put in that situation, I definitely want to give my all to be fit for that honor, and give the best image worthy of our beloved country.”

The bowlers expressed their gratitude to the Saudi Bowling Federation and its president Bader bin Abdullah Al-Alsheikh for his support and for creating opportunities for them so that they can progress, enrich their experiences and win awards and achievements.