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Iraqi international Ali Abbas to resume career in Sydney

Iraqi international Ali Abbas Mshehid will play for the Marconi Stallions in the New South Wales Premier League. Ali Abbas is one of three Iraqi footballers, along with Ali Mansour and Ali Khadher who planned to seek asylum in Australia when in the country representing the U23 squad.

The trio defected from the team after losing an Olympic qualifier in Gosford in November 2007 and were eventually granted political asylum and citizenship last June.

Whilst Ali Mansour returned to Iraq, both Ali Abbas and Ali Khadher remained in New South Wales and underwent trials with the Newcastle Jets but were unsuccessful in gaining a contract.

Now Ali Abbas wants to resurrect his professional career and has decided to join the Stallions although he needs to obtain an international clearance before he can play.

Marconi coach Lee Sterrey said he was pleased to give Ali Abbas, a 2007 Asian Cup winner with the Iraq national team, an opportunity.

"As far as triallists go, he's the best one I've seen in 30 years of football," Sterrey said.

"He's an unbelievable player, better than almost all the left-sided ones I've seen in the A-League. His use of the ball, his pace, his ability to open things up, it's top shelf. I can't believe an A-League club hasn't snapped him up by now.

"He's due back in the next couple of weeks (from Iraq), and I'm desperate to have him here. We want to put him on a stage where people can see just how good he is."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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