Ramy Najjarine paving the way to Tokyo

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Ramy Najjarine is one step closer to the Olympics after being named in the Olyroos U-23 national squad and will leave for Spain this week.

The 21-year-old will fly out to Marbella on Wednesday for a three-week training camp that includes a series of friendlies against Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Romania and Ireland. 

“I’m very excited to represent my country,” he said. 

“Its what you live for, to represent your country at the highest level, and I think representing yourself at the Olympics would be a proud moment for anyone.”

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Najjrine is one of the young guns playing under the Newcastle Jets badge in this A-League season and his top tier performances caught the eyes of coaches and clubs alike.

Despite a mid-season ankle injury temporarily hindering game time, the midfielder is determined to come back stronger than ever and secure his place in the side. 

“I really want to perform well in these four or five games we are playing and I want to get some good results.

“I’m focused on my game fitness and getting that little bit of sharpness back.

“A lot of people know my ability and a challenge is not something I shy away from. I’m going to go out there and do my best,” Najjarine said.

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Meanwhile, the 21-year-old will be accompanied by familiar faces on trip abroad with fellow Jets teammates, Connor O’Toole and Luka Prso also named for the Olyroos. 

“It’s a good moment for all of us. We play together at a high level and it’s very exciting to go ahead to the national team together,” he said. 

Flying out next week also means the Najjarine’s A-League season is cut short. The  on-loan midfielder from Melbourne City will miss the final two rounds with the Jets. 

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Despite the uncertainty regarding his contract for next season, the 21-year-old is still thankful for the opportunities to play in the red-and-blue strip. 

“It’s an unfortunate time that it’s happening, but it is what it is. 

“This was my first season in professional football and there was a lot I learnt. I got more minutes. I’ve learnt general game awareness and gelling into a team environment,” Najjarine said.

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Although his footballing future remains up in the air, Najjarine left much to the imagination when answering whether he would re-sign with the Jets if an opportunity arose.

“I think it’s a decision I’ve got to make after this season. Football is always a bit strange so we will see what happens.” 

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Jemma Pepper
Covering the Newcastle Jets for the 2020/21 season. Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (Germany) at the University of Technology Sydney. Seven days without playing football can make one weak!

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