Islington-born Kerbouche is pleased with Arab Cup Club experience for Algerian side
PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 April 2018
Islington-born Karim Kerbouche believes his native country Algeria's first-ever time at the Arab Club Cup Championships was a great experience.
The 35-year-old, who is head of Hockey Algeria, took his club Algers Corsaires off to Abu Dhabi to compete in the tournament and believes it helped promote the nation.
Kerbouche and his team lost all four of their matches and finished fifth in the tournament against the likes of UAE, Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt.
“It was a great experience, it was quite short notice so we didn’t get the strongest team that we could put out, but we got a decent team together and the experience was great and very professional,” Kerbouche said.
“The organisers done really well, the hotel has been good, transport was great and the TV coverage was good so I can’t complain about anything in the tournament.”
The team lost 16-3 to Lebanon, 9-4 to eventual winners UAE, 8-7 to Egypt and 8-3 to Tunisia.
“The results were disappointing, I wasn’t expecting miracles with a lot of players dropping out last minute, I thought a couple of the games we could have edged it maybe but we did what we could.
“I think once the team started bonding a bit more, I think we started playing quite well together, but we were just missing the final bit to get the results.”
The former Lee Valley Lions player has admitted plans are already in place for the tournament to run annually.
“We had a meeting, the discussion was that it’s going to be an annual tournament, I’m all for it as I really enjoyed it and I definitely think it should be every year.
“As long as we know quite far in advance we shouldn’t have a problem really putting together a good competitive team, we’ve got a good base of players, we just need a couple more better players, some goalies and some time to train really.”
Kerbouche believes the tournament helped promote his club among the community.
“The TV coverage helps, I think that the Algerian community that live here have heard about it.
“We had the Ambassador here and hopefully he’ll help with things back in Algeria.
“The coverage it’s got, the social media shares it’s got, so hopefully it’s brought some attention.”