Saturday, January 19, 2013

Winter Transfer Round-Up

Who's movin' Shabab Al-Khaleel? THIS GUY!
The WBPL may only be starting up again after hiatuses for the WAFF Championship and inclement weather but there has been no shortage of action. Players and their agents have been busy wheeling and dealing as WBPL sides look to land players that could contribute to a title run down the final stretch of the season.



SHABAB AL-KHALEEL

IN: Fayez Aslieh (LB/Al-Bireh), Mohammed Al-Salman (RB/Al-Faisaly), Aziz Abu Hussein (DM/ Umm El-Fahm), Ahmad Abdelhalim (MF/Wehdat), Ahmed Keshkesh (FW/Al-Am'ary)

OUT: Khalil Abu Jazar (DF/Shabab Rafah), Mohammed Jamal (MF/Shabab Al-Dhahrieh) 

As mentioned previously, the most active team in this department has been Shabab Al-Khaleel who have sought to mitigate the loss of Fahed Attal and Mohammed Jamal. Attacking midfielder Ahmad Abdelhalim and right back Mohammed Al-Salman have arrived on loan from Jordanian sides Al-Wehdat and Al-Faisaly, respectively. The latter of which is still eligible and has expressed interest in representing Palestine internationally. The most intriguing move has been Shabab's courtship of Ahmed Keshkesh who has been a shadow of his former self since joining Al-Am'ary in the the 2011/12 season.

The move is a marriage of necessity, Shabab Al-Khaleel need a forward that can pick up the slack with Fahed Attal facing a long injury layoff. Forwards of that sort of ability are hard to come by, especially in the winter transfer market and to get one on a bosman is a coup in itself. For his part, Keshkesh will be desperate to reestablish himself as one of the country's best goalscorers and earn a NT call-up from Jamal Mahmoud. In order for all this to work, Keshkesh will have to be humble and hardworking as getting on the pitch for the free spending Hebronites will be a challenge in its own right.

SHABAB AL-DHAHRIEH

IN: Ali Elkadi (LB/Free Agent), Abada Zbeidat (FW/Sakhnin), Ibrahim Al-Sayed (MF/Aha Acre), Samaha Jebareen (DF/Jenin)

OUT: None

On the other side of town, Shabab Al-Dhahrieh have secured the services of American-born Ali Elkadi. The left back had been part of the Shabab FC (UAE) set up last year and has spent the past six months looking for a club. A solid player for San Francisco State at the collegiate level there is a deal of the unknown about the 24 year old Bay Area native. He has one cap to his name courtesy of a YouTube video but played less than 10 minutes against the UAE in said friendly. As a left back, his chances of breaking into the national team are astronomically higher, so it will be interesting to see how he fares with the WBPL league leaders.

The club was as active as their neighbors in the transfer market signing attacker Abada Zbediat and midfielder Ibrahim Al-Sayed  from Bnei Sakhnin.

The Oryxes had made an overture to Mohammed Jamal of crosstown rivals Shabab Al-Khaleel but that transfer will not be going through. The PFA and Shabab Al-Khaleel were upset after the player participated in games for Israeli clubs during the winter break despite being under contract. Upon his return to Hebron, Jamal voided his contract and signed for the Al-Dhahrieh. He may well end up playing for the Oryxes but it won't be this year as the PFA has suspended him for six months and will levy a $1,500 fine if he plays for any club during the aforementioned time period.

HILAL AL-QUDS

IN: Abdullah Saidawi (GK/Al-Am'ary), Salah Abedieh (MF/Ahli Al-Khaeel), Fadi Lafi (FW/Al-Jazira),Kamal Habiballah (DF/), Amir Rohana (LB/Asfia)

OUT: Saed Abu Saleem (GK/Balata), Ahmed Attieh (CB), Ayman Al-Khatib (MF)

Hilal Al-Quds are turning back the clock bringing back goalkeeper Abdullah Saidawi as well as Salah Abedieh  and Fadi Lafi. In order to facilitate some of their moves they cut salaries by renegotiating with some of their current players. Rumors were abound about Haitham Deeb leaving the club (possibly due to a wage garnish) but the club has since assured its fans that the center back is indeed staying.

Also joining up are Kamal Habiballah a young defender from the Maccabi Haifa youth setup who had a brief stint with an Ternana Calcio of Serie B last year and left sided player Amir Rohana- another intriguing import from inside the Green Line.

JABAL AL-MUKABER

IN: Robert Rahil (FW/Maccabi Umm El-Fahm)

OUT: None

Not a lot happening for Al-Mukaber as they have done little to address the lack of depth within the side. Samir Eissa did, however, add another interesting piece in the form of Robert Rahil- a pure goalscorer.

AHLI AL-KHALEEL

IN: Hazim Al-Muhtaseb (DF/Shabab Al-Khaleel), Ahmed Abu Nijmeh (DF/Hilal Al-Quds)

OUT: Hatem Karim, We'am Musa, Salah Zabaidah (Hilal Al-Quds)

The overachieving Ahli was still trying to finalize a couple of last minute transfers of players from inside the Green Line on deadline day

AL-AM'ARY

IN: Saddam Jarar (Al-Wehdat), Ahmed Abu Halawa (DF/Al-Wehdat)

OUT: Abdullah Saidawi (GK/Hilal Al-Quds)

Two youth players from Wehdat will get plenty of playing time while on loan to Al-Am'ary.

AL-BIREH

IN: Amjad Fuimi (MF/Free Agent Ex-Balata), Arafat Abu Serhan (MF/Balata), Jamal Abu Safaqa (GK/Thaqafi Tulkarem), Ayman Abu Halwa (LB/Ansar Al-Quds), Bassil Al-Faqiya (Free Agent), Adel Al-Bashr (MF/Hapoel Haifa)

OUT: Fayez Aslieh (LB/Shabab Al-Khaleel)

Interesting moves from one the underrated sides of the WBPL. Arafat Abu Serhan is a vet who should help organize and shield the back line.

TARAJI WADI AL-NES 

IN:  None 

OUT: Khader Yousef (MF/Al-Faisaly)

The family run club is running out of talented relatives with two of its stars playing across the river for Al-Faisaly.

MERKAZ BALATA

IN: Saed Abu Saleem (GK/Hilal Al-Quds), Ahmad Abu Elias (Ein Karem/JOR), Amin Al-Ghoul (FA), Mohammed Asi (Al-Ahli/JOR), Ehab Nimr (Al-Jazira/JOR), Alaa Hourani (Merkaz Raqam Wahad), Mohammed Azzam (Hutteen)

OUT: Arafat Abu Serhan (Al-Bireh), Bakri Al-Bakri, Omar Muhameed, Mohammed Al-Ghafari

The rebuilding phase is official underway in Nablus, the players that once surrounded Abdelhamid Abuhabib are all gone and will be replaced by a slew of players with experience in the Jordanian League.

THE BOTTOM THREE

In a bit of gamesmanship, Jenin FC poached Hamada Jebareen from Islami Qalqilya. Other than some low profile signings on the part of Hilal Jericho there really hasn't been much action here. Barring an unexpected reversal of fortune, two out of these three teams will be playing the First Division.