Salford Red Devils have invited Palestinian Rugby League player Khaled Issa to train with the club for 10 days, in order to help the player develop his skills after a personal invite from owner Marwan Koukash.
The game is fast developing in Palestine, with three teams containing over 80 players already formed in the country. Issa is regarded as one of the most talented players in the country, and the opportunity to train with the Red Devils’ first and academy teams is a novel move for Rugby League in Palestine.
Director and Founder of Palestinian Rugby League, Rabie Al Masri, said that it is a “dream” for Issa to train with a full-time, professional club – and he hopes that whatever he learns during his time in England can be passed onto the rest of the Palestinian players.
“From the first training session I did on the municipality fields in Beirut until today, Khaled has been a serious and responsible player,” Al Masri said.
“He is a smart, courageous and strong guy and has shown his ability as Captain of the Under 16 team and he is always here for the team.
“We wanted Khaled to go to Salford Red Devils to have a great experience with a big professional team and I hope he will learn a lot to bring back and pass on to the Palestinian players.
“It is a dream for him to be visiting England and to be part of Salford Red Devils and we hope Khaled will have a great time.”
Koukash himself said: “I am a very proud that we have been able to set up these links with the Palestinian RL, and I really do hope that projects like this will not only encourage the development of the more game internationally but also more importantly give young kids such as Khaled a real life changing opportunity.