Former Al Ahly head coach Martin Jol
Friday May 19, 2017. 14:30
Managing Al Ahly was an “unbelievable” experience, according to Dutch coach Martin Jol.
Jol took over the reins at the Red Devils in February 2016 and led the team to the Egyptian Premier League title.
However, he resigned his post in August after just six months in charge, citing loneliness and worry for his safety as the main reasons for his departure.
“It was a nice experience to be there [at Al Ahly] with Hossam Ghaly. You may remember him throwing his shirt. He convinced me to go there. Can you imagine?” Jol told football.london, as quoted by KingFut.
“It’s a strange world. This was Ghaly, he had to leave Tottenham because you can’t do that with a Spurs shirt.
“I spoke to him and he’s such a nice fella. He’s probably the best midfielder in North Africa. He’s a bit older now but I spoke to him and he said to come over.
“I said I couldn’t go to Egypt, but he said ‘football is big here and Al Ahly are the biggest club in the world. I said ‘What are you talking about?’
“He explained that they have 70 million fans. Barcelona have 30 million. I went over and it was unbelievable. We had a training session and opened the gates and there were 50,000 people there.”
The former Ajax manager added, “I was on my own for seven months. Three months is okay, but seven months is tough. I was in the palace of King Farouk, it’s now a Marriott Hotel.
“It doesn’t matter though if you’re living in a palace, you miss your family. It was a nice experience but one day thousands of students came on the pitch and there were no police and I thought it’s time to go home again,” he concluded.