“We had three stages of preparations before coming here and the real challenge begins now,” he said. Palestine played in the inaugural edition of this competition in 2006 but had to pull out of the qualification for the 2008 edition after an Israeli blockade prevented a majority of the players from linking up with the team.
Hamzah’s charges had training camps in Jordan and the UAE where they played series of friendly matches with the local clubs. They drew 2-2 with UAE League club Al Shaab 2-2 in their last friendly. “We achieved our goals of raising the technical and fitness levels of the players during these camps. We also found out the best combination for our matches.”
"Our primary goal is to qualify for the main tournament and later we can aim to clinch the title and get a chance to play in the AFC Asian Cup,” he added.