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New team, new challenge for Dutchman De Jong

Doha, Qatar: After guiding Al Ahli to a creditable fifth place in the Qatar Stars League, Nigel de Jong has a new challenge.

The Dutch midfielder, now with Al Shahania, is hoping to contribute to his new team’s cause in a big way.

“This is my second season in Qatar. I’ve found out that a lot of things have changed. I had a great time with Al Ahli last season. Now, I find representing Al Shahania as a new experience,” De Jong told QSL website.

“It’s challenging. This is a team known for its fighting spirit, as we all witnessed last season. That’s the main reason Al Shahania finished in a creditable seventh position last season.

“For me, there’s no big difference in changing the team. At the end of the day, you’re a football player. You do your best, be it in training or on the field of play… 

“This time, the expectations of Al Shahania are higher and I look forward to contributing to the team’s cause in a big way. We’ve to fight. I would say our coach (Jose Murcia) is a people’s manager. He’s close to the players. He’s very open and makes a good ambience within the squad.

“In the last match which we lost to Al Gharafa, it wasn’t our best performance. We went down in the second half. The opponents grabbed their opportunities to score goals.

The former Ajax and AC Milan defensive midfielder said it was going to be an exciting season, especially with a lot of transfer activities.

“This season is going to be very interesting. I’m sure about it. A lot of players have gone and come in, across all teams. The competition will be something special,” said De Jong.

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