Al Jazira Back in Training with Keizer Thankful for the Support

Abu Dhabi, Thursday 16 July
Al Jazira FC head coach Marcel Keizer has praised the attitude and work-rate of his team throughout the lockdown period, with the squad now in a phased return to training as preparations get underway for the 2020-21 campaign. 
The Pride of Abu Dhabi returned to their Emirates Palace Training Centre in small groups this week, for the first time since March when the Arabian Gulf League was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 
With groups of just 12 players per training session, in line with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council guidelines, Marcel Keizer and his backroom team have led both indoor gym and training pitch drills, with the Dutchman praising the efforts not just of his team, but everybody who has helped manage a safe return to action: 
“It’s been a long, tough period for everybody- our players, staff and supporters, however I speak on behalf of the team when I say how proud I am of the support we have received and how the community has come together. 
“Our team kept positive and professional throughout this time, maintaining high levels of fitness with home workouts provide by the Club. We were all in touch regularly and kept our team spirits high. 
“It’s great to be able to have the squad back on the training pitch and we appreciate this wasn’t something that could happen overnight. It is only possible because of the work behind the scenes from so many people across the club, our partners and the people of Abu Dhabi. We are exceptionally proud of the support that we have received to help us get back.”
Club captain Ali Khaseif returned to training with a message for supporters after four months without football: “Lockdown was tough but we kept our focus. The coaches really helped with workout plans to keep us fit and it was great to still receive support from fans which really kept morale high amongst the team. 
“Now we have to show our appreciation to the Abu Dhabi community and our fans and work hard in this period before the season starts. Lockdown and the lack of football has made everybody hungry for success and we can’t wait for the season to get going.” 
Helping ensure a safe return to training, the club’s premium partner HealthPoint, part of Mubadala’s healthcare network, carried out COVID tests on all players and staff before they were able to return to training, whilst Premier Motors are supporting the club as the Season Preparation Partner, providing logistical support as the club gets ready for the September return of the Arabian Gulf League.