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Bulent gets down to business at Al Gharafa.

Al Gharafa's new coach Bulent Uygun at training.

Al Gharafa's new coach Bulent Uygun started training his wards on Tuesday following his appointment in place of Frenchman Jean Fernandez. The players went through their paces in the morning and evening as they prepared for the QNB Stars League's second phase, starting on 11th January. Gharafa are seventh in the standings after the first phase with only 11 points from two wins, four draws and five defeats. They travel to Al Ahli for their 12th round match on 12th January. The Cheetahs are scheduled to play a friendly against Qatar SC at home on Sunday and Bulent, who had coached Umm Salal during 2013-16, will utilise his first match in charge to try out various combinations before giving a final shape to his strategy. Many young players such as Nasser al-Kaabi, Ilyas Ahmed, Mohamed Ismail, Hassan Waleed Bakhit and Mohammed Badi attended the training. Yusuf Hassan and Tamim Muhazah, who are with the Qatar Olympic team preparing for the AFC under-23 Championship in China, were missing. Othman al-Yahri as well as Almahdi Ali, who represented Qatar at the Gulf Cup in Kuwait, will soon join the squad. Duhail to play friendly against Tunisia QNB Stars League leaders Al Duhail will host a friendly match against Tunisia on Sunday, 7th January. The Tunisian national team, which has qualified for this year's World Cup in Russia, is currently having a training camp in Doha. The match is part of Duhail's preparations for the second phase of QNB Stars League, which begins on 11th January. The Red Knights will travel to Qatar SC for their opener on 13th January. Duhail are leading the standings with 29 points. They stayed unbeaten in the first phase, the only team to do so, by registering nine victories and two draws. The game against Tunisia must be a good exposure to Al Duhail, coached by Algerian Djamel Belmadi, ahead of the remaining part of the season. Duhail's preparation is going full steam ahead. Players who represented Qatar at the Gulf Cup in Kuwait returned to the squad, while they are missing the services of those doing duty for the Qatar Olympic team at the forthcoming AFC Under-23 Championship in China. Fathi back in Arabi fold after national duty Ahmed Fathi, who represented Qatar at the ongoing Gulf Cup in Kuwait, joined Al Arabi's preparations for their friendly against Al Mesaimeer, scheduled for today. Arabi had recently lost to Al Markhiya by a solitary goal in another friendly. The matches are part of their preparations for the second phase of QNB Stars League. The Dream Team will resume their campaign with an away game against Al Sailiya at the Al Ahli Stadium on 12th January. Al Arabi have only nine points from two victories and three draws. They suffered six defeats. Saad Nateq, who did duty for Iraq at the Gulf Cup, is expected to join the squad soon. Arabi's Croatian coach Luka Bonasic would be keen to take the positives from the two friendlies as they seek to improve their ninth position halfway through the season. QSLM holds technical meeting The Qatar Stars League Management (QSLM) held a technical meeting at its headquarters at the Al Bidda Tower yesterday ahead of the QNB Stars League's second phase. Chaired by QSLM's Head of Operations Ahmed al-Sayed, the meeting was attended by representatives of teams as well as the Qatar Football Association's Referees' Committee. The clubs were urged to include reserve players in their squads.

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Jan 4, 2018
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