In what is quickly becoming an exodus away from the West Bank Premier League, Palestine’s starting goalkeeper, Rami Hamadi has announced that he will move to Abna Sakhnin (Beni Sakhnin) of the Israeli Premier League from the start of the 2020/21 season.
Sakhnin were relegated to Liga Leumit (second tier) last season and struggled in the early stages of this year’s campaign. A managerial change and the unforeseen stoppage in play allowed the squad to regroup. A run of six wins and a draw to close out the season confirmed their return to the top tier of Israeli football.
Hamadi’s transfer represents the first piece of business for the club during this shortened off season. The 26 year old has spent his entire professional career in the West Bank Premier League. He joined Thaqafi Tulkarem as a 17 year old in 2011 after decamping from Maccabi Netanya’s youth team and spent five seasons with Al-Anabi and a season in between with Shabab Al-Khader before moving to Hilal Al-Quds in 2017.
His outstanding performances fast tracked him into the U19 team in 2012 and then the Olympic team later that year. In 2013, he earned a call up to his first senior team camp- where he made an unofficial debut against Jordan in a 4-1 loss.
A fantastic 2014- in addition to a spectacular performance against Brazil while with Olympic team (a saved penalty kick and a clean sheet kept for sixty minutes) earned him a trip to Australia 2015 as Palestine’s third choice goalkeeper youngest player at just 19 years of age.
By the time the next Asian Cup rolled around, Hamadi was Palestine’s unquestioned starter and showed off his athleticism in keeping two clean sheets against Syria and Jordan.
The big question is whether or not Hamadi will start right away as Sakhnin legend Mahmoud Kanadil is currently #1 on the depth chart. There are questions about the Kanadil’s long term future as the 32 year old is in the final year of his deal and has yet to commit to a new contract.
Rami Hamadi’s deal with Sakhnin runs for two years with an option for an additional year.
The Shefa-Amr is the all time leader in WBPL clean sheets and GAA (goals against average). Rami Hamadi also holds the best GAA for the national team and is just one clean sheet away from equaling Ramzi Saleh’s national team record.
Hamadi is the third national team player to leave the WBPL for the Israeli league in the last 12 months– joining Shadi Shaban (FC Dabburiya) and Abdallah Jaber (Hapoel Hadera).