Shamsi, Yaqoob and Attas battle for top award

Dubai: It’s going to be a three-horse race for the Golden Boy award in local football this year — Al Wahda goalkeeper Mohammad Al Shamsi, Al Jazira midfielder Mohammad Al Attas and Al Nasr midfielder Jassim Yaqoob.

The 10th edition of the Arabian Gulf League have produced a raft of young talents who have set alight the competition to prove that the future of Emirati football is safe with a strong new generation is in the pipeline ready to carry the mantle and represent the nation in the international scene.
Al Wahda’s young custodian Al Shamsi seized the opportunity handed to him by coach Laurentiu Reghecampf and established himself as the undisputed star between the sticks for the Clarets. Al Shamsi, born in January 1997 has played 21 full matches and only missed one game through injury before returning to lead his side to a runner-up finish.
Yaqoob, the second nominee for the award, has made 17 appearances for Al Nasr. Yaqoob scored a goal and assisted two goals. This 21-year-old’s performances earned him a call-up from national team boss Alberto Zaccheroni. Yaqoob had helped his side finish fourth in the league and push Al Wasl for third place.

Al Attas was introduced into Al Jazira’s starting XI by manager Henk ten Cate in matchweek five in the Arabian Gulf League and his 77-minutes appearance against Al Wasl convinced the Dutch manager to play him in the next seven matches as the youngster proved worthy of a starting spot.