Wits announce signing of Egyptian striker Amr Gamal

22 August 2017 - 14:09 By Marc Strydom
Bidvest Wits head coach Gavin Hunt during a press conference to unveil new Egyptian striker Amr Gamal on Tuesday 22 August 2017.
Bidvest Wits head coach Gavin Hunt during a press conference to unveil new Egyptian striker Amr Gamal on Tuesday 22 August 2017.
Image: Bidvest Wits via Twitter

Amr Gamal will become the first Egyptian to play in South Africa‚ announced on Tuesday as a signing by Bidvest Wits for a year on loan from Cairo giants Al Ahly.

The 25-year-old striker arrives highly-rated by Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt‚ who was impressed by Gamal when the Clever Boys met Al Ahly in the Caf Champions League in March.

Hunt took a shot in the dark and asked Wits CEO Jose Ferreira to make inquiries about the Egypt international‚ and after months of tough negotiations Wits have landed the player on a year’s loan‚ with an option to buy Gamal at the end of the 2017-18 season.

“That’s why I say that the Champions League helps us. I saw him play against us twice. And I just took a shot in the dark with my CEO – I said 'Can we do something?'” Hunt said on Tuesday.

“And we obviously met and spoke and got the ball rolling from there.

“He’s a player that can help us. He’s an old-fashioned No.9. I like those type of players. He can create goals‚ he can score goals.

“He’s at a good age as well. He’s had a very good upbringing in terms of his development at a club like Al Ahly – he’s been there since he was a young boy.

“And obviously I watched the two games live‚ and also a lot of footage of him to make sure we made the right decision. And I just hope it works out‚ and I think it will work out.”

Gamal said he was impressed by Wits’ structures when Ahly‚ having won 1-0 at home‚ came to Johannesburg to draw 0-0 at Bidvest Stadium on March 19.

“I’m happy to be here at Wits and in South Africa. I thank Mr Jose and the coach for the work that they did for me to come from Al Ahly to here‚” the striker said.

“And I am looking to make something good for me and for Egyptians. The league here is very strong and they play modern football‚ and this will help me to develop more at a big club like Wits.”

Gamal joins PSL champions Wits having scored 30 goals in 102 games for Ahly‚ where he was a product of the club’s development.

He has experience in the Champions League‚ and 14 caps and three goals for Egypt. Gamal he has been included in Pharaohs coach Hector Cuper’s squad for the coming fortnight’s 2018 World Cup qualifying matches against Uganda and Congo.

He joins an impressive strike force that already includes James Keene‚ Phakamani Mahlambi‚ Gabadinho Mhango‚ Daylon Claasen and Eleazar Rodgers.

- TimesLIVE