Fujairah continue life without Diego Maradona as coach Ivan Hasek answers a second call

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Ivan Hasek when in charge of Emirates Club.

Promoted Fujairah have installed ex-Czech Republic, Al Ahli and Emirates Club boss Ivan Hasek as the permanent replacement for Argentina icon Diego Maradona on a one-year deal.

Hasek, 54, returns to Fujairah Stadium for a second spell in charge. He previously engineered an incredible Arabian Gulf League-escape act for the Wolves in 2014/15, but was dismissed in the following March as they slid towards eventual relegation.

The post on the east coast had turned into a hot seat during recent weeks. Maradona was dismissed within hours of April 28’s failure to gain automatic promotion, with an aborted move to bring him back eventually leading to ex-UAE boss Dr Abdullah Mesfer guiding them to a narrow promotion play-off triumph against Hatta.

Hasek inherits a squad that has already been bolstered by the likes of Hatta’s prolific Brazilian midfielder Fernando Gabriel, Algerian forward Mohamed Benyettou from Al Shabab Riyadh and UAE Under-23 goalkeeper Abdullah Ismail from Al Nasr.

The 54-times-capped former midfielder lifted the top-flight crown with – the now defunct – Ahli back in 2009/10. But he’s gained a reputation as a relegation battler in recent years.

A miracle was performed to keep Emirates up in 2016/17. Yet he was gone by last October after his side opened the next campaign with just one win from their opening six league games.

Meanwhile, fellow new boys Bani Yas have selected ex-Croatia defensive midfielder Krunoslav Jurcic as the man to guide them back into the top flight.

Jurcic, 48, was unveiled by the First Division League champions on Monday at Bani Yas Stadium. He fills the vacancy left by the ruthless dismissal of Goran Tufegdzic, despite the Serbian securing an instant return after 2016/17’s painful relegation.

The ex-Torino and Sampdoria player has most recently found employment in Saudi Arabia. He led a ‘B’ team to a group-stage elimination at the winter’s Gulf Cup that featured a goalless draw with the UAE, then lasted just nine games in charge of faltering Riyadh giants Al Nassr in the Saudi Professional League.

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Bani Yas select former Croatia midfielder Krunoslav Jurcic as man to lead AGL return

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krunoslav Jurcic (l) at his Bani Yas unveiling (Twitter/@BaniYasClub).

Promoted Bani Yas have selected ex-Croatia defensive midfielder Krunoslav Jurcic as man to guide them back into the Arabian Gulf League.

Jurcic, 48, was unveiled by the First Division League champions on Monday at Bani Yas Stadium. He fills the vacancy left by the ruthless dismissal of Goran Tufegdzic, despite the Serbian securing an instant return to the top flight after 2016/17’s painful relegation.

The new man has most recently found employment in Saudi Arabia. He led a ‘B’ team to a group-stage elimination at the winter’s Gulf Cup that featured a goalless draw with the UAE, then lasted just nine games in charge of faltering Riyadh giants Al Nassr in the Saudi Professional League.

But the former Torino and Sampdoria player boasts rich experience in the dugout. A total of five trophies were won by him during three stints in charge of Dinamo Zagreb, while he’s also led teams in Slovenia (Maribor) and Turkey (Adanaspor).

The average win percentage accrued by him in 13 years managing across 10 different posts is 52.1 per cent, a figure that will give the Sky Blues board confidence that he can avoid an instant relegation.

They are yet to announce any additions to their squad.

Martinique winger Harry Novillo’s previous defection to Malaysia Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim has robbed Jurcic of a major goal threat.

On-loan Al Ittihad Alexandria forward Manucho struck 11 times in 12 appearances last term, but there has been no announcement made about his future.

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Pep Guardiola inspiration Raul Caneda receives Bani Yas and Emirates Club AGL offers

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Raul Caneda (r) with Marcello Lippi (l).

Pep Guardiola-acolyte Raul Caneda is in advanced talks with both Emirates Club and Bani Yas about a debut switch to the Arabian Gulf League, with a successful conclusion expected shortly.

Caneda, 49, has earned a burgeoning reputation after leading both Al Ittihad and Al Nassr to success during spells in the Saudi Professional League. A profound impact on the career of Manchester City revolutionary Guardiola was also exerted when the pair bonded at Mexico’s Dorados de Sinaloa in 2006.

Such achievements have made the Spaniard a coveted tactician after his spell as an external analyst at the runaway Premier League champions.

Both UAE sides are convinced the ex-Real Sociedad and Almeria assistant can comfortably lead them to safety in next season’s 14-team, expanded top flight. Plus, apply an expansive style of football in the process.

Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club made contact earlier in the summer as they plan a refresh in the wake of a trying inaugural season. However, they are expected to imminently announce a deal for fellow Ittihad alumnus Jose Luis Sierra, 49, of Chile.

Bani Yas stormed to the First Division League’s title under Goran Tufegdzic, at the first time of asking following 2016/17’s painful relegation. The Serbian was then immediately dismissed as they targeted a bigger name for the coming season.

Another ex-Ittihad tactician in Romania’s Victor Piturca is also on the Sky Blues’ wanted list.

Caneda’s other UAE suitor, Emirates Club, came through a trying promotion/relegation play-off against the second tier’s Al Hamriyah earlier this month.

This tense 1-0 aggregate triumph guaranteed a sixth-successive season in the AGL. Syria’s Nizar Mahrous was drafted in during April as an emergency saviour for the second-bottom Falcons, but is not expected to remain in situ for 2018/19.

This has opened the door for Caneda in Ras Al Khaimah.

His last coaching stint was a fourth-month return to Nassr at the end of 2015/16. There, he led a side that had floundered under Italy icon Fabio Cannavaro to a 2-1 loss against Al Ahli Jeddah in the King’s Cup final.

Caneda had previously led the Riyadh heavyweights to 12 victories and one defeat from May 2014-October 2014, before severe internal problems forced his departure.

A similar tale had unfolded at Ittihad from February 2012-February 2013. A club-record 25-match unbeaten spell was achieved, prior to institutional issues causing his contract to be broken.

Meanwhile, promoted Fujairah have sealed the return of midfielder Humaid Ahmed from Al Jazira. Ahmed, 30, made just seven AGL appearances for the capital side after departing the Wolves after 2015/16’s relegation.

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