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Sudani Premier League

'I am here to win titles' – Neiva aiming for success with Al Merrikh

9:46 AM EST 12/15/21
Leo Neiva
The Brazilian tactician has spoken of his return to Africa and hopes to scoop as many trophies as possible with the Red Devils

Leo Neiva says he joined Al Merrikh to win trophies and while expressing his delight in making a return to Africa.

The former St. Kitts and Nevis boss is not a stranger to African football having managed Tanzania’s Young Africans and recently leaving Jamaican top-flight side Montego Bay United.

Before he was signed by the Red Devils for one year, he was linked with Didier Gomes da Rosa at Simba SC.

In a chat with GOAL, the Brazilian expressed how happy he is managing the 21-time Sudan Premier League kings – while stating his ambition at the Al-Merrikh Stadium Omdurman giants.

“It is a great pleasure to return to Africa and this time in North Africa. Al Merrikh is a big name in African football and I am honoured to be their manager,” Neiva told GOAL.

“Everyone knows the club’s pedigree and it is a great opportunity to play in the Caf Champions League. And today, we are among the best 16 clubs in Africa.

“We are taking part in three competitions namely: the Sudan Premier League, Sudan Super Cup and the Caf Champions League. I am here to win titles however, it won't be easy, but we will work hard for it.”

Coach Neiva

Having silenced Zanaco 4-2 on aggregate, the Red Devils are through to the group stage of Africa's premier club competition and they are expected to know their foes on December 28 in Cairo.

Al Merrikh have been put in Pot 4 alongside Sagrada Esperanca (Angola), Jwaneng Galaxy (Botswana) and South Africa's AmaZulu.

Notwithstanding, the 44-year-old claims his Sudanese outfit must have the self-belief to achieve their goals.

“Talking about our participation in the Champions League, we must believe in ourselves to ensure qualification for the next round,” he continued.

“I am buoyed by the historic classification of Saint Kitts and Nevis senior national team for the second round of the Qatar World Cup qualifiers 2022 – the farthest the country has ever achieved.”

One of the things that have captivated coach Neiva so far is how the club has welcomed him since he took over from Didier Gomes Da Rosa.

“Alongside my physical trainer and assistant Marcelo Margalho, we were well received in Dubai for the contract signing meeting as well as the press conference,” he added.

“We have been camping in Egypt where we will play some friendly matches.

“To be honest with you, the reception from everyone has been great from the club management down to the players.”