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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