Simon Feindouno extends contract with Ajman

French-Guinean playmaker repays Ajman’s management and players for sticking with him through difficult times by committing himself to Arabian Gulf League club for another year. Ahmed Rizvi reports.
Simon Feindouno has had an eventful season at Ajman football club. Lee Hoagland / The National
Simon Feindouno has had an eventful season at Ajman football club. Lee Hoagland / The National

AJMAN // Grateful to Ajman’s management and players for sticking with him through difficult times, Simon Feindouno has committed himself to the club for another year and is hoping to make the fans proud next season.

Feindouno’s football career was under a cloud in January last year after Dubai released him during the winter transfer window, claiming the French-Guinean playmaker had failed a cardiac examination.

Ajman ignored that story and showed confidence in the player’s health and ability by offering him a one-year deal last summer.

Feindouno repaid the club for their trust with an outstanding season, during which he played 2,206 minutes in 25 Arabian Gulf League matches and scored nine goals – the same as Al Ahli’s Luis Jimenez and Wasl’s Brazilian striker Ricardo Oliveira.

Feindouno, 28, was also touched by the support he received from the club in January when, on the eve of their league match against Al Ain in the 15th round, Feindouno’s son, Qais, almost drowned in a swimming pool.

The Ajman management wanted him to take the day off as his son was in intensive care, but Feindouno decided to play and helped his team get a point from a game that eventually proved to be the turning point in their season.

Bottom of the league table at the time with eight points from their first 14 matches, the club compiled 20 points from their final 12 matches to survive in the top division.

“Ajman was always my first choice and the negotiations went off smoothly,” said Feindouno, who officially signed the new deal after returning from Saudi Arabia, where he had gone to perform Umrah with his family.

“I lived a really great season with Ajman and I can never forget the support of the club management, the coaching staff and my teammates when my son fell into the pool and was in the intensive care unit.

“It was a very touching, humane gesture and showed the spirit of love and affection at Ajman club. That is the reason for my decision to continue with Ajman – I feel the warmth of friends here.

“Any player would want to stay at such a club, where you feel you are part of a family. Such an atmosphere is also conducive in bringing out the best in you on the pitch.”

After that game against Al Ain, Feindouno burst into tears on the pitch and was consoled by his teammates and officials. Perhaps, his strength and commitment that night helped rally the team in their battle for survival, but the player was never in doubt about the club’s chances.

“Not for a moment did I think Ajman would go down to the amateur division,” Feindouno said. “We have really good players in the team, players with distinctive abilities and, most importantly, all of us – the players, the coaching staff, the management – believed in each other.

“This was important and this trust helped us turn things around in the second half of the season.

“The club management needs to be commended for the way they stood behind the team when we were going through bad times, and that helped ease the pressure on the players.

“Now, we can look forward to achieving better results than we did last season. We know what is required of us and we will do our best to put Ajman among the leading teams on the league table.”

arizvi@thenational.ae

Follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE

Published: May 31, 2014 04:00 AM

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