No sooner was he celebrating leading the club to a first league title in six years, Henk ten Cate admitted he may not be in charge of newly-crowned Arabian Gulf League champions Al Jazira next season.
The Dutchman, who revealed he rejected a chance to replace Danny Blind as Netherlands boss just two weeks ago, picked up the AGL crown last night as the Pride of Abu Dhabi ended a glorious season by easing to a 4-0 win against Al Dhafra.
But, in his post-match press conference, the 62-year-old admitted he will discuss his future with his family, who he been living separately from since taking the reins at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium 18 months ago at the request of close friend and former chairman of the board of directors of Al Jazira, Buti Al Qubaisi.
“First of all it’s not sure that I continue,” said Ten Cate, the former Ajax coach.
“I’m thinking about it. My family is in Europe and I originally came here for six months to help my friend Buti. And it’s now already 18 months so I don’t know if I’m going to continue. I’m going to discuss this with my family first.
“Of course, Al Jazira is a fantastic club and the success we had with this team makes me want to have more. And there is a Club World Cup coming up and everyone wants to participate in that.
“I’m at the end of my career, really. I’m not at the beginning, so things like this you discuss with your family and I will.”
Under Ten Cate’s guidance, utter disaster was averted in 2015/16 when the ex-Barcelona and Chelsea assistant replaced former hero Abel Braga, who had led Jazira to their last title, in 2010/11.
However, his second spell in charge was an unmitigated disaster, with Ten Cate taking over at Christmas 2015 with Jazira in 13th place in the table and staring a relegation battle in the face.
Ten Cate revealed how he was persuaded to stay on following leading Jazira to President’s Cup glory against Al Ain last May.
“Maybe I look younger than I do but I’m 62. I already stopped. I’d stopped coaching when Buti called me,” Ten Cate added.
“He’s the guy who constructed this team, the staff. I didn’t bring any staff and he did a fantastic job because we coped really well together.
“This is not my championship, this is our championship. It’s nice to get credit but it’s not fair to the others. Everyone played their part. Buti never gets any credit, he’s never mentioned but he put this whole thing together.
“He’s a long term friend of mine and he asked me to help him 18 months ago. I took the plane after speaking with him on Boxing Day and came for six months.
“We then won the President’s Cup and he asked me to stay on one year longer. I had to speak to my family and they agreed, but I don’t know if they’re going to agree now. I’m an old man and I’m tired.
“If I stop I stop definitely. I’m not coming in and out. I made an exception for Mr Buti when we were 13th and almost dropped out of the league, but now we are in a solid position and it’s good.”