Harry plays as Gala open season with shock draw

Friday, 30th July, 2010
Harry came on as a substitute in Galatasaray's disappointing 2-2 draw with OFK Beograd in Istanbul. When new signing Pino was about to come on the stadium thought Harry was about to play and the entire crowd began singing "Harry Kewell, Harry Kewell, Harry Kewell". 

Harry came on a short while later in the 68th minute for striker Mehmet Batdal. Batdal had several opportunities to score however despite always being on target he couldn't find a goal. Gala's captain Arda Turan scored both goals for the host team with Harry and Lucas Neill being instrumental in the build up for Arda's second goal. Lucas found Harry who passed it wide to Pino who tried to cross it back to Harry but instead the defender deflected it to Arda who had an open net. You can watch the goal below.

Pretty in Pink

Wednesday, 28th July, 2010
Galatasaray have revealed three of their four kits for the upcoming season and Harry was chosen to model the pink 'Mercan' kit. The other two kits include the 'Parcali' which is identical from last season and also the 'Arslan' which is a cream coloured top featuring a lion in the backgroud. 

The squad have returned from the Netherlands and will take on OFK Beograd in the third qualifying round tomorrow night. The first leg will be held in Istanbul with the return leg to be played in Belgrade on the 5th of August. Milan Baros is injured for the match and Galatasaray's new signing Batdal is likely to start the match up front. Hopefully Harry will get a run on at some point during the match.

Back to work

Thursday, 22nd July, 2010
Harry and Gala's new signing Pino joined the rest of the squad for training yesterday. Along with Lucas Neill who arrived in the Netherlands only a few days ago, the trio performed in lighter workouts to get back into shape whilst participating in some activities with the entire squad.

Galatasaray play a friendly against Fenerbahce but it is unlikely any of the three players will be rushed back to feature in the game.

Photos have been added to the training gallery.

Number 99 for Harry, contract details revealed

Wednesday, 21st July, 2010
It has been announced on Galatasaray's official website that Harry Kewell will don the number 99 for the 2010/2011 season. One of the club's new signings Lorik Cana took Harry's number 19 so Harry had to choose a new number. The number was last used at the club by striker Umit Karan and for those who enjoy their football trivia, Brazilian football legend Ronaldo who shares the same birthday as Harry wore the number 99 when he played for Milan.

The details of Harry's 'pay as you play' contract have been revealed. He will receive a lump sum of 1.08 million Euros and then 30,000 Euros for every match he plays in.

After arriving in Istanbul Harry underwent a physical on Tuesday morning to ensure he was fit enough before signing a contract. At the physical he also met Galatasaray's latest transfer, Juan Pablo Pino who was bought from Monaco. The two will travel to the Netherlands to meet up with the rest of the team and begin participating in the training camp. Pictures from the medical can be seen here.

Another year at Gala!

Tuesday, 20th July, 2010
Harry Kewell has signed on to play another season at Galatasaray. Harry cited the passionate fans of Galatasaray as well as working with Frank Rijkaard as the main reason for staying at the club. It has been revealed that Harry rejected offers from three English Premier League clubs, teams from the Bundesliga and also clubs from throughout Asia including Gold Coast United in the A-League.

Harry said, "There was a lot of interest out there which is nice but the key for me in the end was the great relationship I have with the fans here in Istanbul and with the coach Frank Rijkaard. In my view they are the best supporters I've ever seen and the way they have embraced me in my time at the club means a lot to me and played a huge part in my decision. I felt that missing half the season with Galatasaray was a low point and I always wanted to give the club and the fans the last right of refusal. I was of course disappointed I didn't get offered a two-year deal which was the initial plan back in December but I totally understand the club's position." Speaking about the injury he suffered in January, "The injury really set me back and now I just want to put all that behind me and get back to the form I showed at the beginning of last season and give the fans something to get excited about again. The most important thing for me is to get back to where I was. Physically I feel great and I'm feeling really optimistic about the year ahead."

Signing with Galatasaray has the advantage of ensuring Harry is available to play in the Asian Cup as the TSL has a break during January meaning Harry and Lucas Neill will most likely feature in the Asian Cup. Harry is also hoping of making a third World Cup campaign appearance, "No matter what some people might be thinking, I'm definitely keeping that as an ambition of mine. If my body holds up, then I would love to be part of the campaign for Brazil 2014. I feel I still have a lot to give the national team and if the new coach feels the same when he's appointed then I'll be putting my hand up again."

Decision time for Harry

Saturday, 3rd July, 2010
Harry is currently a free agent as his two year contract with Galatasaray ended at the end of June. Harry has stated that "My first and foremost priority is getting a club and then the Asian Cup in January," he said. "I'd love to stay at Galatasaray, I love the fans; but they've got their own opinions. A decision will be made when I get some more information. I was completely focused on the World Cup, so I'll have to sit down with my manager Bernie (Mandic) and see where it takes us. The one thing about me is that I'm not afraid to play football anywhere. I'm confident in my own ability to play for anyone."

Harry's agent Bernie Mandic is attempting to negotiate a two year deal with the Turkish giants. Mandic says, "Ideally, he wants a two-year extension at Galatasaray and at this stage he has a one-year deal on the table. He is comfortable there, it's a great club and he feels he has done enough to warrant a two-year extension." Galatasaray however are hesitant on signing Harry for such a duration given his injury issues from over the past seven months. Current reports from Turkey say Galatasaray are looking for Harry to sign a 'pay as you play' contract.

If both sides fail to reach an agreement there are rumours that clubs from England (Fulham, Manchester United, Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City), Spain, Germany, France (Marseille) and even the United States are looking to sign the Aussie. Mandic comented that "there is plenty of interest from clubs across Europe and we are considering all options. People might be surprised at the calibre of some of those clubs."

The football season resumes in one and a half months so we'll have to wait and see if Harry stays in Istanbul or decides to find greener pastures elsewhere.

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