Nottingham Forest director John Metgod has left the club to become assistant coach of the UAE under Bert van Marwijk.
Metgod, 61, a former Forest player, was appointed to the Forest board in the summer of 2017.
“Nottingham Forest director John Metgod has left the club to take up a new role in international football as from 1st April 2019,” Forest said on their official website.
“The Dutchman now departs the club by mutual consent to take on a new role as assistant coach of the UAE national team.”
Former Netherlands midfielder Metgod spent three years at Forest as a player during the 1980s before moving on to Tottenham.
He has had two spells as manager of Dutch club Excelsior, has twice been assistant boss at Feyenoord and has also spent time as a coach at Derby and Portsmouth.
He will now link up with former Netherlands manager Van Marwijk, who took over as UAE boss on Wednesday and was unveiled before their 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia in Abu Dhabi on Thursday evening.
“I have very much enjoyed my time at the club and I would like to wish Martin (O’Neill) and the team the best of luck for the remainder of the season,” Metgod said.
“Everyone knows about my love for the people at the club and in the city so this was a very difficult decision for me.
“However the opportunity to get back on the grass and the day-to-day involvement with the football department is a role I have started to miss, so this opportunity appealed to me greatly.”
New UAE boss Bert van Marwijk watched from the stands as his new side overcame going a goal behind to fierce Gulf rivals Saudi Arabia to triumph 2-1 in a friendly in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
The Green Falcons – whom the Dutchman used to coach, qualifying them to the 2018 World Cup last summer before promptly resigning following a falling out – took the lead at Al Wahda’s Al Nahyan Stadium through striker Abdulfattah Adam’s 18th-minute opener.
But two goals in nine second half minutes turned the tide for the Whites – led for this game and their subsequent friendly with Syria by caretaker coach Saleem Abdulrahman.
First, Al Ain utility man Bandar Al Ahbabi stabbed home after Saudi failed to clear Abdalla Al Naqbi’s cross 11 minutes after the restart. Then, a free-kick found Al Jazira playmaker Khalfan Mubarak in the left hand channel. He chipped in a cross to the back post which was headed home by talismanic striker Ali Mabkhout – his Jazira team-mate.
Dutchman Van Marwijk was presented to media prior to the game following the 66-year-old’s announcement by the UAE Football Association as Alberto Zaccheroni’s replacement on Wednesday.
Details of the arrangement were not provided, but a four-year contract – worth approximately €3.6 million per annum, including technical staff – has been inked that encompasses the entire cycle for the global tournament and Asian Cup 2023.
The managerless Green Falcons are also again looking for another coach following Juan Antonio Pizzi’s departure after the Asian Cup.
FT: UAE 🇦🇪 2 - 1 🇸🇦 KSA— AFC (@theafcdotcom) 21 March 2019
UAE edge Saudi Arabia in a friendly match at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi! pic.twitter.com/uC6MYllxLT
The UAE face debutants Kyrgyzstan on Thursday when they kick-off attempts to go one better and claim the AFC Beach Soccer Championship 2019.
Mohamed Al Maazmi’s men wowed in 2017, enjoying an unexpected run to the final – where they lost 7-2 against hot-favourites Iran – and earning a return to that year’s Beach Soccer World Cup after missing out in 2013.
Asia’s finest are now congregated in Pattaya, Thailand, from March 7-17. The Whites have been drawn in Group B, where they’ll also meet China and Lebanon.
“I respect all the teams in this tournament and I think there is no weak team,” Al Maazmi said.
“Kyrgyz Republic are participating for the first time in the AFC Beach Soccer Championship. I respect this team and I think all the teams are here to be competitive.”
A trip into the unknown awaits for the UAE against opponents whose preparations included battling sub-zero temperatures.
“Our country is very cold in winter, and it is very difficult to prepare the players,” explained boss Muktarbek Orozbakov.
The UAE play China on Saturday and Lebanon on Monday.