Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Tuesday February 14 2012
Wigan Athletic fly out to Oman today (Tuesday) for some warm weather training and one Latics player, goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi, just cant wait
Al-Habsi is of course an Omani and going home with the Latics has really got the 30 year old buzzing, he says that he just can't wait, with temperatures in the 20's it's hardly surprising either!
Wigan have a free weekend due to being knocked out of the FA cup by Swindon, so the club have decided to take full advantage, get the players away from the pressure, get some sunshine on cold, tired winter bones and undoubtedly explore some commercial opportunities in, what after all, is a mega rich country.
Ali though is just excited at the prospect of being part of a little piece of history, with the Latics being the first Premier League club to visit the Gulf state. Ali told the Latics official site: 'Oman at this time of year is brilliant, we'll have temperatures of around 20-25 degrees, plenty of sunshine for lots of sessions and I'm sure everyone will enjoy it.
'I've spoken to lots of people back home about the visit and there are so many people looking forward to seeing Wigan Athletic, a Premier League team, arrive in our country.'
The Latics have also confirmed that they will take on the Oman national side whilst in the country, but Al-Habsi isn't quite sure which side he'll be turning out for, Ali continued: 'It's the first time a team from England have visited the country and hopefully if all goes well it could be the first of many visits in the future.
'I'm the captain of my national side so I can't let people see me playing against them can I?!
'But that will be a big occasion for Oman as well as Wigan Athletic; we've got some crucial international matches coming up at the end of the month and the preparation for them is important.
'We have a qualifying game for the Olympics and a Word Cup qualifier against Thailand this month that we have to win to stand a chance of progressing in each competition.'
Al-Habsi proud to be taking the Latics home
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Latics and Proud
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Date:Tuesday February 14 2012
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