EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW ‘We’re counting on Darragi’


QNB Stars League side Umm Salal’s Director of Sports Affairs Ali Amin exuded confidence that the signing of Tunisian playmaker Oussama Darragi would stand them in good stead in the tournament’s second phase.

Umm Salal had felt the absence of such a player in the first phase and were placed fifth with 16 points. Their midfield play and attacks lacked co-ordination.

Darragi was recruited as replacement for Moroccan Youssef Sekour, who parted ways with the club by mutual consent.

Darragi is a player with good credentials. He last played for Club Africain. 

Mahmoud Jaber-coached Umm Salal, fifth in the standings on 16 points halfway through this season’s QNB Stars League, would expect much from the 30-year-old medio in the remaining part of the season.

“I wish good luck to (Oussama) Darragi. We hope he’ll be a good addition to the side. We’re counting on him. He’s a proven playmaker and that led to his signing by us,” Ali told QSL Online in an exclusive interview.

He expressed satisfaction over the team’s current standing and stressed that the second phase of the league would be more difficult.

“The competition will be fierce in the second phase as many teams will try to reach the top four. We were in it for long before being displaced by Al Sailiya and we hope to return to that bracket. We’ve the ability and potential to do that,” said Ali Amin.

Umm Salal are only three points behind Al Sailiya.

“We’ve a good combination of players, be it foreign professionals or nationals. We’re also happy with our other overseas imports — Yannick Sagbo, Mahmoud Al Mawas and Adel Rhaili.

“We don’t want to comment on the transfer rumours of Sagbo or Ismail Mahmoud to Al Gharafa, who are now coached by our former manager Bulent (Uygun). We still have good relations with him.

“We’ve no plans to recruit any Qatari player in the January transfer window. We rely on the experience and expertise of our current crop of players,” said Ali, adding that The Orange Fortress’ goal this season was to finish among the top four in the QNB Stars League.

The official concluded by expressing hope that the team would make up for the lost points in the first phase.

Umm Salal will play Al Kharaitiyat at the Al Khor Stadium on 11th January in the 12th round.