The past year has been nothing short of tumultuous for WBPL powerhouse Hilal Al-Quds. The club that had won an unprecedented three league title is a row to along side a cup title in 2017/18 disintegrated last season upon the departure of manager Khader Obeid.
The capital city side was further hindered when Oday Dabbagh departed for Kuwait and failed to adequately replace a player who was the league’s top goal scorer in back to back seasons.
The first ten games of the 2020/21 season also proved to be a far cry from the halcyon days of the Jerusalem club. That said enough of the core group remains that ensures the club could still be on the brink of contending again.
Hilal Al-Quds are currently in seventh place with a game in hand having collected 13 points (3-4-3). They remain a defensively stout team thanks to the presence of Mohammed Abu Mayala- who was excellent in Palestine’s 1-0 friendly win over Kuwait.
Moreover, the club can still rely on national team midfielders Mohammed Darweesh and Moody Yameen as well as right back Musa Farawi. The club’s younger players: Hani Abdallah, Mohammed Obeid, and the aforementioned Awesat are consistent producers as well.
Yesterday’s announcement could change the trajectory of the WBPL as the experienced Islam Batran and the promising Reebal Dahamshe have committed to the Hilal’s ranks for the rest of the season.
Islam Batran left the WBPL four years ago to sign with Egyptian Premier League side Wadi Degla. Batran’s career at Wadi Degla started brightly under Patrice Carteron but the winger was frozen out of the team when Mido took over following Carteron’s dismissal.
A one year stint with Jordanian side Al-Jazeera proved productive for Batran as he helped lead them to within a point of the league title and the AFC Cup Zonal Final.
After scoring twice for Palestine in the 2019 WAFF Championship and in a historic win over Uzbekistan a month later it seemed that Batran was destined for a big move.
Instead he fell out with Sahab over unpaid wages and a move to Croatia did not materialize. In the final weeks of 2020, Batran signed for Al-Hussein Irbid to little fanfare. Half a season with Hilal Al-Quds might just be the tonic Batran needs following a difficult year.
The more exciting long term move for Hilal Al-Quds and the WBPL is the signing of Reebal Dahamshe who became the youngest player to play for Palestine when he debuted for the senior team at last year’s Bangabandhu Gold Cup. Dahamshe was an absolute force of nature in Palestine’s attempt to qualify for the U20 World Cup- bullying opponents with his electric mix of power, speed, and strength.
The 18 year old was with Israeli side Hapoel Nof Hagalil but had yet to debut for their first team, before joining them he burst onto the scene as a 15 year old for Kfar Kana’s youth team- netting a whopping 51 goals in a single season. Dahamshe also became the first Palestinian player to represent the national team whilst on the books of an Israeli side.
Hilal Al-Quds return to action on Wednesday against last place Taraji Wadi Al-Nes.