(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Former Egyptian handball star Bassim el Sobky was picked as the new coach of Oman's handball team on Tuesday.
He replaces Algeria's Ibrahim Boudrali.
Sultan al Hosni, the chairman of the Oman Handball Association (OHA), told Muscat Daily, ''We are delighted to name Bassim, an experienced coach and a former great, as the coach of the national indoor team. We have signed him for a year, but we are open to extending the contract if we achieve our goals.''
Hosni said Sobky, whose previous stint was with Egypt's youth team, has had a distinguished career and 'we hope that he helps our national team and youth teams to reach higher levels'.
Oman's handball team hasn't played at the international level since the Asian qualifiers in November 2011 for the 2012 London Olympics, finishing a modest eighth among 11 teams.
Hosni said the first target for the national team under Sobky is to prepare for the next round of Asian qualifiers in Doha, Qatar in January.
That event will serve as the qualifiers for the 2015 World Championships in Doha.
''Frankly, we are not expecting too much from the Doha event. We would like Sobky to take care of the U19 and U17 national teams and build a strong foundation for the future. Basically, he is head coach, who will handle all the three teams,'' said Hosni.
Sobky, the former Zamalek Club goalkeeper, has also served as coach of the Kuwaiti national team.
The Egyptian player-turned-coach is expected to hold discussions with Hamood al Hassani, Oman's beach handball coach.
Quite a few players play for the national indoor side as well as the beach handball team.
The beach team has a hectic season next year as it prepares for the GCC Championships, Asian Cup and the World Cup.
The beach handball boys had finished runner-up at the Asian Championship in Hong Kong last May, earning a spot in the sixth Beach Handball World Championships, to be held in Morocco in 2014.<