DOHA: Al Arabi will take on El Jaish in the second round at home on Thursday, with the match kicking off at 8pm.
Ahead of the big tie, QSL online spoke with Arabi’s returning Nigerian attacker Imoh Ezekiel to get his thoughts on their revitalised squad and their aims for the season.
Ezekiel is no stranger to the QSL, and enjoyed a brief stint with Al Arabi before being loaned for two seasons to Standard Liège and Anderlecht in Belgium. Despite his time away the young striker expressed his excitement to be back with the side.
“I have been away in Belgium for two years now, the style of European football is different to that in Qatar, and I learnt a lot with Standard and Anderlecht and played in a good competition. I want to bring what I learnt in Belgium to this Al Arabi side.”
The 22-year-old attacker was left on the sidelines in round 1, following a registration issue which has now been resolved; “For me I love to play football, but thankfully the registration has been sorted and I will be playing in the next game so I am very excited.”
As a result of the registration issue The Dream Team were without any professional players for their first game of the season against Al Sailiya.
For Ezekiel the result underlines the strength of the Arabi side this term. “I watched the game against Al Sailiya and was really impressed with how the side preformed with no professionals. They gave it their all and we got the result and you have to give them lots of credit.”
The summer was busy for the pacey Nigerian, who represented his country at the 2016 Olympic Games starting in five of his sides six game run to the bronze medals. “It was a good experience in representing Nigeria at the Olympics. It’s a huge competition, and being with the team and helping the squad win the bronze medal is a major achievement for me.”
Al Arabi have been active in the transfer window over the close season; Bringing no less than nine players to the club. This new wave of players including three professionals should have a positive effect for The Dream Team according to Ezekiel.
“The new players already have changed the mentality on the training pitch, and you feel that every day at the club. You look at the Al Arabi side now and see Mustapha Sall and Jimenez in the squad you think that Arabi is a good team.”
Concluding his interview the returning Al Arabi star believes that this could be the start of a special season with The Dream Team. “It is still early in the season, but with the new players and providing everyone can remain focused I think Al Arabi could go a long way this year.”