@SalfordDevils @drmarwanK @davemorrissey64 @PalestineRL @SkySportsRL
Super League: Palestinian rugby league player Khaled Issa to train with Salford Red Devils
Salford Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash and actor David Morrissey have teamed up to bring promising young Palestinian rugby league player Khaled Issa to the UK.
The 20-year-old will stay with the Red Devils for 10 days and will take part in training and testing with both the first and academy teams, help out with the Salford Red Devils Foundation and experience everything a professional rugby league club has to offer.
The club are working in partnership with local amateur clubs to ensure Khaled gets the chance to play a rugby league game whilst visiting the United Kingdom.
Khaled’s family fled to Beirut in Lebanon as refugees and he was discovered by director and founder of Palestinian Rugby League, Rabie Al Masri, who has been training Palestinian refugees with his two brothers since 2008 and so far, has gathered 80 players to form three professional teams.
Rabie is full of praise for Issa, who captained the Palestinian Under-16 team in the MENA Championship, commenting: “From the first training session I did on the municipality fields in Beirut till today, Khaled has been serious and responsible player.
“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 added: “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.”
Red Riding and Walking Dead actor Morrissey, who is a friend of the Salford owner and met Issa during one of his regular trips to Beirut, has also helped to finance the trip.