Al Rayyan wary of Police threat as giants eye Super Cup glory

 10 Nov 2017 - 0:00

Al Rayyan wary of Police threat as giants eye Super Cup glory
Al Rayyan’s star player Mubarak Dahi (left) and John Chigbo of Police pose with the Super Cup trophy after press conference held at the QVA premises in Doha on the eve of Super Cup clash yesterday. Pictures by: Salim Matramkot/The Peninsula

By Rizwan Rehmat / The Peninsula

Volleyball giants and Emir Cup winners Al Rayyan are wary of the depth and consistency of Police ahead of today’s Super Cup clash.
The two high profile teams clash in the one-off game at Qatar Volleyball Association (QVA) Indoor Hall where the game starts at 5:30pm today.
Al Rayyan coach Carlos Eduardo said Police - last year’s Qatar National League title winners - are one of the toughest teams in the country.
“They are always a step ahead of everybody. It is the first game of the new season but we can’t take them lightly,” Eduardo said yesterday.
“I am pretty certain the match will be hard.
“They are the same team with more or less with the same bunch of players. They have the same system,” the Brazilian coach said.
“We will play hard too as we have been preparing for the last three months,” Eduardo said.
“Clearly we will have to be at our best. And yes, we are ready for this game,” the Al Rayyan coach added quickly.
Police coach Damian Arredondo said his players could barely wait for the new volleyball season to start.
“It has been a long wait for us. The last tournament we played was the Emir Cup and that was months ago. It is a long time since an active game,” the Argentinian said.
“We have been preparing for the season-opener since the start of August,” he added.
“We want to win this and then keep improving. We want to be better than last season,” he said.  “Nobody likes to lose and it’s the same with us,” the coach said.
Al Rayyan’s star player Mubarak Dahi said: We have many youngsters who are willing to do the hard work. The new season is here. We are all pumped up. We failed to win the Super Cup last season. We want to win this one as we have prepared really hard for this game.”
Police’s team leader John Chigbo, who has appeared for Qatar at the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games, said his team mates are ‘dreaming’ of a win since the start of the long training camp. “It is an honour to play this high profile game. We have been in preparation mode for the last three months and now is the time to get cracking. It will be a dream come true to lift the trophy tomorrow (today). All of us will be playing at a new hall since the QVA has renovated the hall in the off-season. Winning this title would be a good compliment to our league-winning season in 2016-17,” Chigbo said.
Chigbo’s team-mate Mads Devilson of Denmark said: “It’s a big clash. They are a good side but we are the national league champions. Stage is set for a big game. Let’s see what happens. Nobody likes to lose, like my coach said. Hopefully it will be a good game to watch.”
Al Rayyan’s overseas player Ivan Borovnjak of Serbia sounded delighted to start the new season in Qatar, having arrived in Doha on Tuesday.
“This will be my first game for Al Rayyan. I just arrived two days ago. We have an important game before the regular season starts. And we would like to start with a win. We are not 100 percent but we will fight for every ball, every point, that’s for sure,” Borovnjak said.
Al Rayyan’s team-manager Ali Ishaq said: “Al Rayyan is well prepared for the season’s first game. It is the first official game after long weeks of training and preparation. We would love to start the season by lifting the trophy.”
Manager of Police Rashid Mahmoud said: “My team has been preparing for the season’s first game for more than three months now. The moment the national team players got back, we resumed training in August. And we increased the tempo in September.”
The Super Cup is a game planned by QVA between the winners of the League and the Emir Cup of the past season.
Police won the National League title whereas Al Rayyan lifted the Emir Cup trophy.
Saeed Salem, QVA Board Member said: “The stage is set for the volleyball season to start. The teams are ready and so is QVA. It will be a grand occasion. The Super Cup game will be telecast live on Al Kass Sports Channel. We will be honouring a couple of Qatar national team players for their long services. Talal Al Rumaihi of Al Arabi and Mohammed Al Qabi of Al Sadd are those players.”