'This is for all the fans': Rebrov dedicates Al Ain's dominant awards night to supporters

UAE champions the big winners at Emirates Palace, scooping nine prizes in all

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Serhiy Rebrov dedicated Al Ain’s dominant haul at the UAE Pro League awards to the club’s supporters, with the Ukrainian then shifting focus to yet more success on the pitch next season.

The UAE champions were the major winners at the 2021/22 awards ceremony held at Emirates Palace on Saturday night, scooping nine prizes in all.

Among the most prominent, Rebrov was named best coach having guided Al Ain last season to the Adnoc Pro League title and the League Cup, while star striker Kodjo Laba was picked up awards for the league’s best foreign player, the 2021/22 top scorer (26 goals) and for goal of the season.

Meanwhile, Bandar Al Ahbabi was named best Emirati, goalkeeper Khalid Essa won the Golden Glove, left-back Erik Jorgens was handed best young foreign player, with playmaker Soufiane Rahimi voted fans’ player of the year.

Speaking after collecting his award, Rebrov said: “I remember when the league said I was the best manager of the month the first and second time I thought this was a joke. And always I said: ‘if I get this title in the last months this is most important’.

“All the team deserve the titles today. It’s not about me, it’s about the hard work in all the team and this trophy is for all of our fans.”

On Laba’s hat-trick of awards, Rebrov said: “All what we’re doing is for the supporters. We deserve it this season, we worked very hard. This is the only way to get the titles, to win the league and get the personal trophies.

“Laba deserves this because he’s concentrated, he worked very hard on the pitch and he helped all of us.”

Al Ain were comfortably the league’s best side last season, with the Garden City side sealinga first top-flight title in three years – and a record-extending 14th championship crown – with three rounds to spare.

In the end, Al Ain won the trophy by 10 points having lost only once in 26 matches. They boasted also both the division’s best attack (57 goals) and best defence (17 conceded).

As for the target the 2022/23 campaign, which begins on Friday, Rebrov said: “Same like last season. Don’t think we’ll be relaxing. I’m sure we understand next season will be more difficult. What can we say? We have to work hard to try to get the titles.”

Updated: August 28, 2022, 10:24 AM
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