[UPDATE:] (06/01) Majed Balawi claims that Hernan Madrid will sign for a WBPL club. The 29-year-old has played for seven different clubs in Chile’s Primera and has represented Palestine on one occasion- a 2006 World Cup qualifier against Uzbekistan. Balawi refused to name the specific club he would be joining, but seeing as Madrid has been without a club since December 2009 this move makes sense and gives him an opportunity to play with the National Team again. Balawi said that this move would be the first of many… could we see fan favorite Roberto Kettlun in Palestine sometime soon?
With an eye towards full professionalism of the West Bank League next year many clubs have been attempting to attract Palestinian players who play abroad. While some of these attempts have failed, many players have chosen to sign as a result of being out of contract with their current clubs.
Most notably, Ahmed Keshkesh whose one-year contract ended yesterday will move to Shabab Al-Khaleel (Hebron). Despite scoring 17 goals in all competitions this season Keshkesh never really found his groove often times being played out on the wing to accommodate Wehdat’s other forwards. Keshkesh will play one year with Shabab and receive $60,000 a $20,000 raise over his previous contract with Wehdat.
Fadi Lafi, who at 31 will probably finish out his career in the WBPL, will be the highest earning player. The forward has signed for Hilal Al-Quds (Jerusalem) on a one-year $65,000 contract. This is a homecoming for Lafi who started his career at the Jerusalem club.
Al-Amari’ hasn’t been as successful as some other clubs, attempting to sign Al-Jazeera Amman’s young keeper Azmi Shueki. Shueki who featured in the Dynamo Moscow Jericho friendly and is included in the squad list to face Sudan is still under contract with Al-Jazeera and the move will not materialize unless Al-Amar’y can pony up the money for a transfer fee.
And an old and familiar face will be gracing the pitches of Palestine next season. Emad ‘Abou El-Khair’ Ayoub has signed for Wadi Al-Nes. Little is known about Ayoub and his current form, he has been playing for Tasnee’ a third division Egyptian Club and hasn’t featured for the national team since 2004.