Olympic Team set for Lega Pro Friendly


Contrary to some of the reports you may have read in the Palestinian Press, the Olympic team will NOT be facing Italy on June 12th. The Palestinian FA have however organized a friendly in conjunction with their Italian counterparts (hence the confusion). The team the Italian FA will be a Lega Pro Select Team. There is no word as to the specific players that will be chosen but players plying their trade in the third and fourth division would make for more suitable opposition than a team featuring the likes of Balotelli and Santon. The game will be played at he newly refurbished Dora Stadium, outside of Hebron.

Mokhtar "The Dinosaur" Al-Talili has called up 26 players, 22 from the 10 WBPL teams that retained their top-flight status, one from Sweden, and three from the Gazan Leage. There are some new faces in the squad, The Dinosaur is obviously not happy with the team's lack of finishing and has called up seven strikers, four of whom are Olympic Team debutants. Mohammed Abu Rwaeis's inclusion is puzzling but the other three are interesting prospects: Alaa Atieh is wanted by both Wehdat and Al-Ahly of Egypt, Mohammed Abu Dan is battling out with Ateih for the leading scorer's title in the Gazan league.

The most intriguing player however is Al-Reikhawy- a modern day Lazarus who was assumed dead after being hit by shrapnel from an F-16 missile during Israel's attack on Gaza and put in a hospital morgue's refrigerator. A woman looking for her son was asked to identify the body when she noticed that the Al-Reikhawy was still breathing! Al-Reikhawy managed to make a miraculous recovery and still is able to play despite the pieces of shrapnel still imbedded in his leg.

The squad will be reduced to 23 players before the qualifier against Bahrain in Manama on June 19th (The return leg WILL be played in Palestine):

Goalkeepers:
Toufic Ali (Wadi Al-Nes)
Amr Abu Rwaies (Al-Am'ary)

Defenders:
Nadeem Barghouthi, Ahmed Salameh (Al-Am'ary)
Mustafa Abu Kweik (c) (Al-Bireh)
Fayez Aslieh (Shabab Al-Khaleel)
Samaha Jabareen (Dhahrieh)
Mohammed Al-Sadoody (Hilal Gaza)

Midfielders:
Hicham Ali (Rosengard/Malmö FF)
Thaer Qaraeen (Jabal Al-Mokaber)
Amjad Zidan (Wadi Al-Nes)
Mahmoud Al-Koori (Al-Am'ary)
Bashar Abu Nejmeh, Hamdan Abu Awad (Shabab Al-Khaleel)
Thaer Al-Bana (Merkaz Tulkarem)
Rida Da'amah (Thaqafi Tulkarem)
Ahmed Me'arry (Hilal Al-Quds)
Wisam Aqab, Abdelhamid Abuhabeeb (both Balata)

Forwards:
Ali Al-Khateeb (Jabal Al-Mokaber)
Jehad Saqr (Wadi Al-Nes)
Alaa Atieh (Shajaeeya)
Khaled Salem (Merkaz Tulkarem)
Mohammed Abu Rweis (Balata)
Hazem Al-Reikhawy (Dhahrieh)
Mohammed Abu Dan (Shabab Rafah)