By Mohamed Assed:
Tripoli, 15 January 2013:
Libya’s acting football coach Abdulhafeed Arbich has . . .[restrict]called up 16 players to ply their trade in a training camp to be held in Tunisia on the 25th of this month, as reported by the Libyan Football Teams Committee (LFTC) on Sunday. The preparation period in Tunisia will also see Arbich’s lads playing one friendly game against a still unnamed opponent.
A few days after Alain Giresse’s decision not to coach the Libyan football team, the man who would have been his assistant, Abdulhafeed Arbich, continues with his managing duties as the head of the Libyan football team’s technical staff. The restrained Arbich seems ready to move on after the LFTC’s failed negotiations with Giresse to which he was a mere spectator— as was the rest of the Libyan public. Now that they are history, life is back on track for the Libyan football team and for its thankful coach to start serious preparations for its next crucial World Cup 2014 qualifier game against Congo on 22 March.
The 16 players called up for the training camp
Goalkeepers: Mohammed Nashnoush (Al Ittihad, Tripoli), Mahmoud El Houderi (AL Nasr, Benghazi), Ali Eshnayna (Swehli FC, Misrata). Defenders: Abdurrahman Lamaamy (Al Ahli, Tripoli), Osama Ashteba (Nejmeh SC, Beirut, Lebanon), Walid Sabai (Nejmeh SC, Beirut, Lebanon), Muatassim B’Allah Al-Bagrmy (Al Ittihad, Tripoli). Midfielders: Abu-Bakr Al-Obaidy (Al Nasr, Benghazi), Mohammed Shebly (Al Ahli, Tripoli), Faisal Al Badri (Al Hilal FC, Benghazi), Mohammed Sanany (Al Ittihad, Tripoli). Attack: Salem Ablou (Al Ahli, Tripoli), Farag Abdulhafeed (Salala FC, Oman), Mohammed Al Ghanoudi (Al Ahli, Tripoli), Mohammed L’Ghwel (Swehli FC, Misrata), Muatassim B’Allah Boushnaaf (Union Sportif (US) Monastir, Tunisia)
Arbich has reportedly been finding it difficult to call up all 26 players of the Libyan National Team. Major players, from Al-Ittihad and Al-Nasr are missing from the list due to continental commitments with their respective clubs, not least Ahmed Saad who is currently with his team Al Nasr of Benghazi at a training camp in Cairo, preparing for the forthcoming CAF Champions League.
The squad, however, will be complete in time for Libya’s friendly match against Kenya in Tripoli on the 7February.
The players who will not be able to make it for the Tunisia training camp on the 25th are Ahmed Zuway, Ahmed Sgheer, Jamal Abdullah, Mohammed Mounir, Mohammed Moughrby, Mahmoud Bhayr and Ali Salama in addition to the new additions for the national team: the Libyan-English player Ahmed Benali and Libyan-Irishman Ayman Zayed.
The LFTC has finally been able to include Benali and Zayed in the Libyan football team after on-going talks with the Irish and English Football federations. The 29-year-old Zayed started his senior club career with Bray Wanderers after starting with the under-21s of the same club. He scored the fastest hat-trick ever by a Bray Wanderers player against Dundalk in 2003 within a nine minute spell from the 7th to the 16th minute.
After spells with Drogheda United, Sporting Fingal and Derry City, Zayed signed a six-month contract with Iranian club Persepolis where his fame grew to staggering heights amongst the club’s fans. On 2 February last year he came on as a substitute in only his second appearance in the Tehran derby match, with Persepolis at that pont down to 10 men and 2-0 behind.
He scored an incredible hat-trick in an eight-minute spell and won single-handedly the derby for his club. He was chosen World Player of the Week after the Tehran derby by Goal.com. Persepolis fans began referring to Zayed as “Mr Hat-Trick”. Due to his performance and popularity with the fans, Persepolis extended his contract for the new season 2012-2013. However, he decided to leave his team before the end of the season and on 24 November 2012, Persepolis and Zayed officially agreed to part company.
Ahmed Benali is a midfielder who currently plays for Italian side, Brescia. The 20-year-old Benali holds a British passport. He started his career in the youth team of Manchester City and signed his first professional contract in the summer of 2010. In August 2011, he was loaned to League One club Rochdale. He made his professional debut on 4 October 2011 in a Football League Trophy match against Walshall. His league debut came on 15 October 2011, in a 2–2 draw with Colchester United.