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Dubai - Yasmine El Tohamy - Al Ahly goalkeeping coach, Michel Iannacone, says that the pressure that comes with coaching Al Ahly forces them to try and win every possible trophy.
Since the arrival of Iannacone, along with the rest of the coaching staff led by Rene Weiler, Al Ahly have been in tremendous form for the majority of the campaign.
The Reds were able to lift the Egyptian Premier League title six weeks before the end of the tournament. They also have the strongest defensive record in Egypt, having conceded just eight goals in the league for now.
Under Iannacone’s guidance the team’s first choice goalkeeper, Mohamed El-Shennawy, was able to keep 21 clean sheets in 27 league encounters.
The 60-year-old talked about the difficult circumstances the club had to overcome to lift their 42nd title and what it meant to win it for the fans.
“Despite the difficult situation with the coronavirus and the suspension of the league. There is still a lot of emotion after this title,” he told Belgian website Walfoot.
“It was like being liberated, we could feel it in the way the fans were celebrating. Although we’ve seen in Europe that despite the situation fans were still celebrating their trophies with the same level of enjoyment. Only sports can bring that feeling back for now.
“Life shouldn’t stop because of this crisis. Sadly no fans were able to attend any games as I think it would’ve been too difficult,” he added.
Before taking on the Al Ahly job, Iannacone was the goalkeeping coach at RSC Charleroi in Belgium for ten years [July 2009 – June 2019]. During his time there, the club secured promotion to the first division two years into his stint.
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He went on to compare the pressure that came with this accomplishment with the pressure of winning every silverware with Al Ahly.
“I would put both moments on an equal footing. At the time we had gambled everything for the promotion, during the difficult presidency of Abbas Bayat [Iranian businessman],” he continued.
“If the club would’ve stayed in the second division, they would’ve had many issues, I think. We were very happy with the promotion, we fought like lions.
“But there’s obviously a lot of pressure here as well! You can’t lose. We have the best players in Egypt so you have to win every game, even the friendlies. It’s motivating because pressure is part of sports, if there isn’t any you don’t improve.
“We have other objectives like the Egypt Cup but mainly in October when we compete in the CAF Champions League semi-finals. Therefore we can’t relax from now and freewheel our way to the final. Either way the objective is to always win and there’s still some points to win,” he concluded.
READ: Egypt FA move Al Ahly, Tanta game, change venues
Al Ahly haven’t won any game since being crowned champions and they’ll be looking to change that when they face FC Masr tonight, Wednesday 23rd at 8:00pm.
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