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Eritrea bid to poach Mebrahtu as club switch looms

Eritrean-Australian Footballer, Golgol Mebrahtu

Would-be Socceroo Golgol Mebrahtu has revealed he’s been approached to play for Eritrea - the land of his ancestry - as he ponders a club move to either Turkey or Germany.

By Dave Lewis | SBC

The Sudan-born attacker, who arrived in Brisbane as a refugee at the age of nine, has been granted a release by his Czech club Mlada Boleslav, having notched 19 goals in all competitions over the last two seasons.

The release comes just days after Eritrean officials flew to the Czech Republic in an attempt to entice Mebrahtu - who spent four years in the once war-turn nation as a youngster - into pledging his allegiance.

Capped once by the Olyroos, the former Gold Coast, Melbourne Heart and Western Sydney Wanderers striker is uncapped at senior level by Australia.

But he was on the radar of Bert van Marwijk when he took charge back in March, without ultimately receiving a call-up.

The 27-year-old still hankers for a green and gold chance but is not ruling out accepting the Eritrea offer.

“They sent two people (to Prague) four or five days back to persuade me to play for them,” he said.

“My priority and my goal is to play for the Socceroos. I grew up in Brisbane, all my friends and my immediate family are there.

“It would be a dream to represent the Socceroos but if that doesn’t work out then in the near future I might decide to represent Eritrea. It is enticing.

“I know the language, I still have relatives there - it’s a strong link for sure.

“It’s a matter of weighing things up now. But, of course, Australia is my main goal and once my club future is decided, and hopefully I’m playing regularly, I’ll be looking towards (January’s) Asian Cup.

“If not, then I’d definitely consider Eritrea.”

The sub-Saharan nation of five million people are currently ranked 206th in the world.

With Australia hunting a proven goalscorer under new coach Graham Arnold - Mebrahtu added: “My name was thrown around a bit in March (before the friendlies against Norway and Colombia).

“The FFA made contact saying I would be in a pool of players under consideration.

“I think they sent some scouts to watch some games, and we’ll see what happens now.”

Mebrahtu came to Prague hoping it would act as a gateway to bigger things, and it is likely he will be confirmed as a Turkish Super Lig player, or a new 2.Bundesliga arrival within the next week.

“I came off an injury-plagued time with the Wanderers to play in Europe, where I got to play in the Europa League and score goals in a strong European competition,” he added.

“It’s now about taking the next step to a higher level and try and achieve there as well.”

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Eritrea bid to poach Mebrahtu as club switch looms Reviewed by Admin on 12:08 AM Rating: 5

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