22-year-old Layan Jouhari wants to continue his uncle’s legacy at Al-Ittihad
The Jeddah born Layan Jouhari is walking in the footsteps of her uncle Ghanayem Al-Harbi who played for Al-Ittihad in the 1960s and 70s.
Jouhari’s family legacy
Layan Jouhari has opened up about her uncle and his legacy at Al-Ittihad and how she wants to continue in his footsteps.
“He talks about winning the cup, and there’s a picture of him holding the cup (that) he always shows me,” she said of her uncle.
Jouhari’s father, Abdulmojeeb, also represented Al-Ittihad but at volleyball and table tennis.
“Ittihad is like blood for so many, because it started in 1927, so it’s already one of the oldest clubs in Saudi,” she told Arab News.
“From the beginning my whole heritage is Ittihad, so we’re huge fans of Ittihad.”
Jouhari went on to talk about the joy she experienced when she found out that she’d be signed by her childhood club Al-Ittihad.
“Ittihad is like blood for so many“
“Just talking about it, I can’t get rid of the smile on my face,” she said.
“It came so rapidly, all the changes and all the developments here for women’s football in Saudi. This was one of the huge steps that Saudi took, which is to have all the major clubs, the men’s clubs in Saudi, start a women’s team.
“When I heard that I’m going to be part of Ittihad, it was maybe the best news I’ve heard in my life. I called up my whole family one by one just to tell them the news. It was indescribable.”
She added: “Some of them, like my uncles who are older, they couldn’t believe it; they were just so curious and excited.
“They’re like, ‘when are you going to play, can we watch the matches?’ So I was like, of course, it’s all going to be open.
“Here in Jeddah we have Al-Jawhara (King Abdullah Sports City) Stadium, it’s the biggest stadium in our region, and that’s where we were playing the league games, on the reserve field.
“So they were even shocked that we’re getting that much support. It’s very exciting.”