AS AL RAYYAN eye a fourth GCC Clubs Championship triumph and first at home, Dusan Petkovic is proving to be the cutting edge for them.
In the ongoing 36th GCC Clubs Championship at the Ali bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Rayyan started their campaign with an 18-25, 30-28, 25-18, 25-18 victory against Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal. They followed it up with an equally-impressive 25-21, 25-23, 25-19 win against familiar foes and arch-rivals Al Arabi in the round-robin tournament.
In the most eagerly-awaited match against Arabi, dubbed as the ‘clash of titans’, it was Petkovic who did the star turn for Rayyan with a match-high 14 points.
It was Rayyan’s third straight win against Arabi following two meetings in the Qatar League.
“I’m happy we had a good match against Arabi. Matches between Rayyan and Arabi always carry an extra dimension. As such, the win was a great morale booster for us and I believe we’re in good shape to defend the title,” said Petkovic.
The 25-year-old, who joined Rayyan at the start of season from French club AS Cannes Volley, has made a quick impact. He was adjudged the best attacker of Qatar League, where the Lions finished fourth.
Since joining Rayyan, he has been on the podium twice. Rayyan had lost to Arabi in the one-off Super Cup tie, the prelude to Qatar League, while they had to be content with third place at the Arab Championship recently.
Going by their form, Rayyan, under new coach Carlos Schwanke, are favourites to retain the GCC title. If it happens, then Petkovic will step on top of the podium for the first time.
“We’re determined to win on home soil for the first time and make it four titles. For that, I’m ready to give my best. It’ll certainly be a great achievement to win a title with Rayyan in my
first season with them,” added Petkovic.
Petkovic has spent most of his club career in his home country as well as France.
Qatar is a new experience for him and he cherishes it a lot.
“As professional players, we should always be in search of new challenges in life. I’m enjoying my stint in the Middle East,” he concluded.