9/5/2018 5:15:24 PM

‘Coach Sami is like father to all players’

‘Coach Sami is like father to all players’

Doha: Abdulkader Ilyas is one of the key players of Al Sailiya in the QNB Stars League. He has been in top form in the first four rounds of the competition, scoring four goals including a brace in their 2-1 victory over Al Khor last week.

In an exclusive interview with QSL Online, Ilyas shared his thoughts on him form, coach Sami Trabelsi and Sailiya’s top-four ambitions.

He started off by saying it was very crucial that the team sustains the momentum in order to stay in the top four because they had a good start last season as well before fading away as the QNB Stars League progressed.

Al Sailiya are now third in the standings with nine points from three wins. Al Arabi also have the same number of points, but are fourth on goal difference. The Peregrines had lost to Al Gharafa 1-2 in Week 2.

Ilyas insisted Al Sailiya’s target was to finish in the top four this season and that they would strive hard to achieve it even though the competition is tough as always.

“Al Sailiya have the potential to make it really big. That’s why I opted for them this season. I consider it as one of the best clubs I’ve ever played in. I’m happy that I’ve settled into my stride there sooner and I hope to stay at the same level. That’s very important,” said Ilyas.

“Conditions at Al Sailiya are good and I’m comfortable with my position. For the first time, I feel like I’ll play for one team throughout the season. That very thought inspires me to work harder,” he said.

Ilyas gave his takes on Trabelsi.

“Coach Sami is like father to all players because of his experience as a player and coach. I hope to live up to the expectations of the coach and team management,” he said.

The lanky player pointed out that the good pre-season preparations played a vital role in their strong start to the 2018-19 season QNB Stars League.

“All players worked hard during the pre-season camp and that has had a positive impact on our performance so far,” said Ilyas.

Asked what Al Sailiya were missing in their bid to stay in the top four, he said, “We don’t miss anything. We’re already in the top four and wish to stay there. At the same time, we have to focus fully on the coming competitions and games. The harmony and spirit shown by our players, on and off the field, are outstanding.

“We’re competing for all titles and I wish we win the QNB Stars League though it’s too tough a task. In my opinion, the title race is between Al Sadd, Al Duhail and Al Rayyan. Our main target is to finish in the top four,” Ilyas said.

Ilyas also spoke about the player and club who have drawn his attention.

“Al Sadd’s Akram Afif is the player who has caught my attention the most because of excellent showing. Al Arabi are the team that impressed me as they bounced back brilliantly with consecutive wins after losing big-time to Al Sadd. They’re now in top four too. Most people had expected Al Arabi to collapse after the demoralising defeat,” he said.

Ilyas concluded by expressing his wish to keep playing at the same level, so he can get back into the Qatar national team, a dream of all players.

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