Football

QNB Stars League clubs prepare for new season

The QNB Stars League (QSL) clubs have started their preparations ahead of the new season, with their training camps underway in full swing in Qatar and overseas.        

The new season will kick off on August 1, an early start as compared to previous seasons as schedule of the first five rounds has already been announced by the Qatar Stars League. 

Clubs are missing their national players, who are currently attending Qatar’s training camp in Marbella, Spain as part of their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 preparations.

Al Sadd, who will begin their title defence against promoted Al Markhiya with the new season’s opening match, launched their preparations last week under new head coach Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lillo, who replaced Javi Gracia.            

Al Sadd yesterday announced to hold their overseas training camp in Vienna, Austria from July 4 to 20.

Lillo is determined to help The Wolves continue their domination in the QSL after their back-to-back title triumphs.  

“We will continue the work that the Spanish coaches at Al Sadd club have started in recent years, whether Xavi Hernandez or Javi Gracia. Qatari football and with Al Sadd Club in particular, it is an honour for me to be in this club,” the Spaniard said at his unveiling last week.

Al Sadd’s main opponents Al Duhail, who finished runners-up in the last season, have also launched their preparations under head coach Hernan Crespo. The Red Knights are currently training at home, with the camp set to continue till June 30 before they travel to Austria for their second phase of preparation on July 1. Al Duhail will play their opening match of the QSL season against Al Wakrah on August 3. 

Meanwhile, Al Arabi will travel to Jerez de la Frontera, Spain on July 1 for their overseas training camp, which will continue till July 21. The Younis Ali-coached side has also lined up several friendly matches during the camp. The Dream Team, who will meet Qatar SC in their first match of the season on August 2, are currently busy with training sessions at home.   

Al Shamal, who finished 10th in the previous season, are in Turkish city of Izmir to prepare for the new season. Their training camp, which started on June 24 will conclude on July 15 during which the side will also play four friendly matches. 

Umm Salal will also set up a camp in Turkey in the city of Izmir from June 28 to July 20.

Meanwhile, Al Rayyan, Al Wakrah, Al Gharafa and Qatar SC have also kicked off their preparations. 

The 2022-2023 season of the QSL will see a top-notch start as five World Cup stadiums are set to host the fixtures across the first five rounds throughout August.

These venues include Khalifa International, Al Janoub, Al Thumama, Education City and Ahmad Bin Ali stadiums. All these venues are equipped with cooling technology to cope with hot weather conditions expected during the month.

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