Abdulaziz Al Anbari has declared the secret to Sharjah’s uplifting success was simple “teamwork” and hard graft after his role in engineering a shock Arabian Gulf League title win was recognised in the season-ending individual prizes.
Al Anbari, 41, ended a 23-year wait for the King to be crowned the UAE’s finest. This continued the club stalwart’s exemplary work after he took over a relegation-threatened squad, on a permanent basis, in October 2017.
The former midfielder’s guile in the dugout saw him, unsurprisingly, become the first Emirati winner of the ‘The Leader – Best Coach’ gong at Friday’s 2018/19 AGL Awards ceremony at Madinat Jumeirah. When quizzed about ‘the secret’ behind this charge, he replied: “Teamwork. We said to the players, if we want to fight with strong teams, we must be together, like a family, like a team.
“You cannot work as individual players. We started the camp like a team, started the league like a team and we finished like one.
“You see our goalkeeper the best, midfielder the best, everything. This vote for me is very important.
“We work hard for team work. It’s not easy to fight with strong teams who had more experience than us.”
The King have led from the off and only suffered their first loss last week, at Al Wasl. Their precipitous rise up the standings also guaranteed a berth in the 2020 AFC Champions League.
Al Anbari admitted he would spend the summer scouring the domestic market to bolster his trophy winning squad.
He said: “Now, will be very hard next season, with the AFC Champions League. We want more hard work next year, we need some local players.
“I hope we will find good local players to help. I know it will not be easy, but we will try our best.”
Sharjah finish off a triumphant campaign away at Emirates Club on Saturday.
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Surprise champions Sharjah crowned a season of success by justly dominating Friday night’s 2018/19 Arabian Gulf League Awards.
Abdulaziz Al Anbari was predictably named Best Coach at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah after he oversaw a shock end of the King’s 23-year top-flight title drought. In the process, he became the first Emirati to claim the gong.
Brazilian playmaker Igor Coronado’s 17 goals and nine assists was rewarded with the Best Foreign Player trophy at the glittering ceremony, while Adel Al Hosani took home the Best Goalkeeper prize.
The highest honour of the evening, however, was earned by new Best Emirati Player, Al Jazira conductor Khalfan Mubarak. Al Wasl teenager Ali Saleh was chosen as Best Young Player.
Golden Boy – Best Young Player: Ali Saleh (Al Wasl)
The Leader – Best Coach: Abdulaziz Al Anbari (Sharjah)
Golden Glove – Best Goalkeeper: Adel Al Hosani (Sharjah)
The Golden Ball – Best Foreign Player: Igor Coronado (Sharjah)
The Golden Ball – Best Emirati Player: Khalfan Mubarak (Al Jazira)
All eyes of UAE football fans will be on the Joharah ballroom at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai starting on Friday night, May 17, as the UAE Pro League celebrates stars of the 2018/19 season at the Arabian Gulf League Awards ceremony.
This year’s event is the seventh edition of the glamorous gala which was introduced at the end of the 2012/13 season and went from strength to strength with new award categories added every year, including awards for players, coaches, clubs, fans and Fantasy Arabian Gulf League managers.
The additions continued this season with the introduction of the ‘Best Digital Sport Platform’ which aims to encourage websites, blogs and social media pages that cover the UAE Pro League competitions and play an important role in promoting the Arabian Gulf League through their content.
The UAE Pro League has also introduced a ‘Goal of The Year’ award, with three goals contesting its inaugural edition after more than 10,000 fans voted on the AGL social media pages between May 5-8.
The ‘Goal of The Year’ award is one of eight vote-based categories alongside: the Golden Ball Award for Best Emirati Player; Golden Ball for Best Foreign Player; the Leader Award for Best Coach; the Golden Glove Award for Best Goalkeeper; the Golden Boy Award for Best Young Player; Fans’ Player of The Year Award; Best Digital Sport Platform Award and the Goal of The Year Award.
Winners in six other categories are decided based on stats, these include: Dream Team, Golden Shoe Award for the Arabian Gulf League Top Scorer, the Silver Shoe for the Arabian Gulf League U21 Top Scorer, the Fantasy Arabian Gulf League Manager of the Year, Club Licensing Award and the Online Content Award.