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African All Stars

Mosimane: Al Ahli an opportunity for me to make history in Saudi Arabia

10:31 PM GMT+4 04/10/2022
Pitso Mosimane - ahli saudi  2022-2023
Pitso Mosimane has explained how his desire to make history in Saudi Arabia pushed him to take the Al-Ahli job.
  • Mosimane says desire to make history pushed him to Al-Ahli
  • SA coach believes the team is capable of promotion
  • Jingles’ first match is on Wednesday against local rivals Jeddah

WHAT HAPPENED? Mosimane has managed Africa’s biggest teams in Al Ahly and Mamelodi Sundowns but decided to go for the Saudi second division club as his next challenge, to the surprise of many, but the South African tactician says he relished the challenge of waking up the sleeping giant who has won three league titles and a record 13 King’s Cups.

WHAT DID MOSIMANE SAY? “What convinced me to come here is after seeing the history of the club, how the chairman sees the club. I see it as an opportunity to make history in Saudi and how bigger can it be than to take this team back to the Premier League,” Mosimane said during his unveiling on Tuesday.

“We have the ammunition, I know the players, the team and their qualities. You can’t just come and say this one must go. I have to give them an opportunity to prove themselves on the pitch. Don’t say I have a big name, I come from Europe. Help us to get promotion and we can assess the team in December.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Considered among the top four teams in Saudi Arabia, Al Ahli was one of the founding members of the Saudi Pro League alongside Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr and had never been relegated from the top-flight until the 2021-22 season, the reason Mosimane was brought in to return them to where they feel they belong.

Al Ahli are seventh on the Division One table with eight points from five matches, four behind leaders Al Khadoud, having won two, drawn as many and lost one, meaning Jingles will have to hit the ground running as he has just been handed a one-year contract.

Mosimane arrived in Saudi on Monday and took charge of his first training session in a bid to familiarise himself with the players ahead of Wednesday’s league match against local rivals Jeddah.

WHAT NEXT FOR MOSIMANE? Al Ahli host Jeddah on Wednesday seeking to make it back-to-back wins following their 3-0 victory over Ohod on September 16 and their new coach has promised not to make changes to the squad.

Mosimane revealed that he has watched the club’s five league matches this season and is convinced they have a team capable of earning promotion. Al-Ahli have four league matches in October.