Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Palestinians Abroad: Islam Batran joins Wadi Degla

Yesterday witnessed one of the surprises of the transfer window. Islam Batran, a highly rated winger who has yet to earn his first international cap, signed with Wadi Degla of the Egyptian Premier League.

At 21, Batran will be given an opportunity to learn from veteran players such as Essam El-Hadary and will also be on show to Degla's sister clubs: Lierse and Arsenal.

He becomes the third Palestinians in the Egyptian Premier League alongside former national team captain El-Masry's Ramzi Saleh and current national team captain Abdelatif Bahdari of Talaea El-Geish.

Details of the contract are not immediately known but the former Ahli Al-Khaleel star wasted no time in asserting his credentials- scoring the opening goal on his unofficial debut; a 7-1 rout of Al-Nuba Club 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Ashraf Nu'man announces international retirement

Ashraf Nu'man took to his Facebook page yesterday to announce his decision to retire from the Palestinian national team. It has been a tumultuous 18 months for the man once considered to be the best- but least known- talents in Asia. A particularly difficult season last year saw the Bethlehem born attacker leave Wehdat after six months with no goals to his name and a move to Saudi Pro League bottom feeders Hajer hardly proved to be the right change of scenery.

The 30-year old hangs up his boots as Palestine's joint-top leading goal scorer with 14 goals in 53 caps.

He released the following statement on the issue:

"After a period of deep thinking over the past week, I have decided to announce my retirement from international football after a period of nine years that were the most beautiful, amazing, and fulfilling years.... The reason for my retirement are due to personal reasons that I cannot reveal that prevent me from fully committing to the national side..."

More after the jump...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Barakat announces preliminary squad to face Tajikistan

Palestine manager Abdel Nasser Barakat has revealed a list of 27 domestically based players set to take part in a training camp ahead of next month's friendly vs. Tajikistan.

Headlining the list are defender Alaa Abu Saleh- the former Bnei Sakhnin captain and fellow Sakhninite midfielder Hamad Ghanayem who are among 11 Shabab Al-Khaleel players to be included in the list. These two players could prove to be valuable additions to the national team- with over 400 Ligat Ha'al games under their belt.

Former Chile U20 striker Rodrigo Gattas is also in the squad for the first time along with six other Hilal Al-Quds players- the second largest contingent in the side. 

Players plying their trade abroad are expected to be called up on the 30th of this month. With the game against Tajikistan due to be held in Dora, it seems the FA has scrapped plans to train in Algeria for logistical reasons. 

Full squad after the jump...

Abdallah Jaber's contract with Arab Contractors voided

After agreeing a three year deal with Egyptian Premier League side Arab Contractors last week, Palestine left back Abdallah Jaber has voided his contract.

The impasse was a result of the player not being issued a copy of his contract- a basic right that FIFA's rules and regulations ensures to all players. Jaber took to social media to clarify exactly what happened posting pictures of the signing ceremony as well as his successful medical. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Palestinians Abroad: Mahmoud Eid signs for Allsvenskan side Kalmar FF

Kalmar FF announced the transfer on social media last night

The most recent transfer in a flurry of moves involving Palestinian players comes from the old continent. Mahmoud Eid will become the only active national team player playing in the first tier of a European league. He is the eighth national team player to be involved in a transfer to a foreign league in 2016. 

More details after the jump...

Monday, August 8, 2016

Palestinians Abroad: Abdallah Jaber moves to Arab Contractors

Abdallah Jaber (c) presented at Arab Contractors' team headquarters. 

After a year filled with speculation, Palestine's left back has finally secured a much sought after move to a foreign club. 

Reports had linked Abdallah Jaber to various Egyptian clubs over the past 12 months. El-Ahly, Zamalek, ENPPI, were all rumored to be interested in signing the player.

More details after the jump...

Shukran, Peto! Kettlun calls time on 15-year career

Roberto Kettlun with the national team during the 2012 Nakba Cup
When a pro athlete calls time on his career his accomplishments are usually summed up in the amount of minutes played, trophies won, and records set. Every so often, however, an athlete's body of work can't really be summed up by an aggregation of of stat sheets.

Roberto Kettlun is one of those types of athletes. A cursory glance of his CV will show that he won 23 caps, scored three goals, and played professionally in Chile, Greece, and Italy before a four year stint in Palestine's WBPL. His time in Palestine was truly revolutionary; as the first established national team star to move to the new league he encouraged others to join him and help the league develop.