The Kurdish Globe
By Zakaria Muhammed--Erbil
Brayati Football Club recently started reshaping its squad for the upcoming domestic league season. This came after it failed to move up to Kurdistan's premier soccer league.
Brayati hopes to win over its fans by showing a strong performance in the first division Kurdistan league and securing a spot in the premier league. To do this, during the past month, the team started changing its lineup, signing several new footballers and trying out others.
The team started its string of changes by appointing former Iraqi national team player Adel Khizair as head coach. The 58-year-old Khizair was part of the winning 1979 Gulf Cup with the Iraqi national team and participated in the 1986 World Cup. As a coach, he has trained Bahrain's Tadhamin FC and Syria's Shargat FC.
Khizair's refusal to renew his contract with the Syrian club last year led Brayati to consider hiring him. According to Zagros Nanakali, Brayati club media manager, Khizair's one-year contract is worth 12.5 million Iraqi dinars.
Nanakali said the team had also singed several new players but did not reveal the details of the contracts. "The club has singed several new footballers and is trying out some others. We want to make a dramatic change in the squad, aiming to have a better performance in the coming season."
Over the last decade, Brayati has suffered from the lack of a stadium, a shortage of players, and administrative and financial problems. Most of the management board members have been working as volunteers because they love the club and the sport in general.
When asked what made the club decide on radical changes, Nanakali said, "With the players and coaching staff we had in the previous seasons, we were not able to achieve our goals or get good results. We thought the team needed to be reshaped."
Brayati has been struggling to translate its talent into results, prompting management to seek changes. Nanakali also said coach Khizair released some players, whose skills weren't thought to be benefiting the team.
Under the supervision of Khizair, Brayati held its first training session on May 5 at its stadium.
"We have just started the training and, day by day, I will be able to know the players and identify their skills. Once all the players have been tested and their contracts signed, we will intensify the training and schedule training camps," said Khizair
In addition to local footballers, Khizair has asked the team management board to sign two players from outside the Kurdistan Region. "To strengthen the lineup, the team needs to have players from outside. My aim is to get the team to a level that can compete in the Iraqi league, too."
The Brayati club was founded in 1984 in the Kurdish capital city of Erbil. It has won Kurdistan premier league twice. Sarkar Ali Khan and Fadhil Abbas, who used to play for the Iraqi national team, are two of the biggest stars who have played for Brayarti.
This season, 18 teams will participate in the Kurdistan league, all of them from Kurdistan Region, from Erbil, Duhok, Suleimaniya and Kirkuk. The teams are not drawn into groups. The league has one group, and all 18 clubs play each other twice on 35 occasions. The best two teams will move up to the premier league while the worst two teams will be relegated to the second division.