For fans of Málaga CF, the sight of Hamyan Al-Thani at club functions has become a frequent one in recent times. The president of the club's women's team and the manager of the Academy has taken on an increased role in the absence of her father, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani. At 26 years of age, Hamyan has not only filled in for the owner but has fully immersed herself into the day-to-day running of the club. In an interview with SUR, she explains her feelings on arriving at the club and analyses the current situation, albeit focusing on her two passions - the Academy and the women’s team.
Hamyan studied International Business in London and is expected to continue dedicating herself to working for the club, despite an imminent return to Qatar. She insists that she will return to carry out her functions.
She is passionate about the world of football, even if it is something new and unknown for her. She wants to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible. She is also taking Spanish classes and already has a basic level.
Around the club they recognise and appreciate her efforts and commitment to push forward projects which have been a source for concern over recent months. The daughter of Sheikh Al-Thani wants her family to be proud of her work.
She is happy to have found a role in a place that is attractive to her. She is a firm believer in the Academy and keeps track of the results during the week but her all-round knowledge of the club continues to grow day by day.
-Who is Hamyan Al-Thani?
-I consider myself a young girl who is trying to learn in a new world, and am focused on doing what I can to make my father and my family proud.
-In recent months, in the absence of your father, you have become the principal representative of the ownership. Will you maintain the same level of activity or will that stop when the president arrives?
-My father is the president and is the one in charge. We speak daily and I consult him on all decisions. Although he’s not physically here, he’s aware of everything that happens at the club, and his intention is to come to Malaga very shortly.
-You have fully immersed yourself into the world of football. Are you attracted to your work? Do you like football?
-Yes, I like football. It’s an interesting world and I’m trying to learn how all the facets of the club operate. In specific terms, I’m the CEO of the Academy, and am in contact with coordinator, Miguel Calzado, and I usually go to every match I can. I know practically all the players in the youth ranks, and all the MCF Femenino players.
-Having studied International Business, how would you assess Málaga CF as a company?
-Málaga CF is a club consolidated in the elite of La Liga. We’ve been in the First Division for 10 consecutive years, and during eight of those years, Abdullah Al-Thani has been at the helm. That’s no coincidence. We don’t want to make mistakes of the past, rising quickly and then falling. The idea of my father and the family is to continue laying the foundation for a sustained growth.
- What would you like to do with the Academy and the football club? What do you think the aims should be?
- The Academy is in good health. In recent years our youth ranks have been one of the motors of the first team, with many young players, and we want to continue this philosophy.
Fortunately, following hard work and effort between the club and the city hall, the Sports City is going to become a reality. It’s great news for our players, and a qualitative leap to have a place where we can all work together.
- The fans have responded with greater enthusiasm this season than they did last, with more than 24,000 season tickets sold. What can you promise them from your position to calm the doubts they may have now?
- The first thing is to thank them. It makes us very happy to feel their support and enthusiasm for another season. We’re going to work to the maximum to return this confidence, to make the fans proud of Málaga CF from the first team to the youngest squads in the Academy.
-We know that you spend long periods of time in Malaga. What will your relationship with the club be like in the coming months?
-At this time, I have to return to Doha for personal reasons, but I will continue to be as present in the club’s day to day working. I want to watch all the matches I can, and stay informed of all that’s happening at the Academy and with Málaga CF Femenino. My intention is to stay on top of everything and return to Malaga as soon as possible.