Oman national football players attracting the attention of outside clubs after their title-winning Gulf Cup performance will lift the level of football in the Sultanate to the next level, feels Oman national team head coach Pim Verbeek. Five of the national team players joined top GCC clubs after the 23rd Gulf Cup. “I am happy for all my players who signed contracts for the different Gulf leagues after we won the Gulf Cup. I am sure that these moves will be finally profitable for the Omani football,” Dutchman Verbeek told Oman Daily Observer in an exclusive chat.
“The offers they got, affirmed the high performance they showed in the Gulf Cup and I think they deserved that.
“It will be a good challenge for them. They are big names in Oman, but in the other countries they still have to fight for that position in their new teams,’’ Verbeek added.
After Oman national team won the Gulf Cup last month for the second time in its history, five players signed contracts in three different leagues. Harib al Saadi and Mohammed al Musalami moved to play in the UAE with Al Jazeera club. Playmaker Mohsen Jawhar joined Ohod in Saudi Arabia, while high-flying winger Saad Suhail moved to Al Nasser FC in the same league. Saeed al Ruzaiqi, who netted a brace against KSA in the competition, travelled to join Kuwaiti giants Al Arabi.
The Dutchman also asserted that playing in better leagues will enhance their mentality, experience and commitment.
“Playing outside in different leagues will be definitely good for the players as they will deal and work with different cultures, experiences, players, coaches, and life style of playing.”
Commenting on the impact of their absence to the local league, he said, “off course, it’s a big loss for the Omantel league and the Omani teams but this is the way that football works,’’ Verbeek added.
Verbeek also mentioned his coaching staff’s commitment on travelling and watching the players.
“It would be a bit difficult for us as a coaching staff because previously we can easily see all players in the Omani league but now we will have to travel sometimes to watch the players and how they play, position on the pitch etc.
“But we can manage this as Middle East is not that big and it is good to see them in different leagues,’’ Verbeek concluded.
Jaber Al Ajmi