Ali Abbas is firing up to register his 150 A-League games milestone in this weekend’s F3 Derby in what will cap off the sacred month of Ramadan.
Over recent weeks, Abbas has been fasting as part of Ramadan and still managed to put in the hours on the training ground.
“I have to get up morning before 4.30am to eat,” Abbas said.
“By 5.30 pm in the afternoon I can start to eat again.”
The challenges of fasting are welcomed by Abbas and he considers the holy period as an important reminder of the opportunities and privileges he has in his life.
He also acknowledges that his teammates and coaching staff have been supportive throughout this period.
“The coaching staff has been perfect with me, they’ve been great,” Abbas said.
“I’ve been doing it since I was 12 or 13, so I’ve done it most of my life.”
Having made his A-League debut with the Newcastle Jets back in 2009, Saturday’s clash with Central Coast looms as his milestone 150th in the competition.
Reflecting on the journey, Abbas admits he is pleased he can reach such an important career milestone with the Club he started out with.
“It’s funny I started with Newcastle to make my A-League debut and now I’m back here to do my 150th game,” he said.
“It feels very special to me.
“A derby always gives you that burning feeling to just go out there and do something.”
Throughout the season, Abbas has been consistently called upon from the bench to add energy and impetus to the Jets side.
Abbas’ flair has been pivotal, and he is intending to provide the team with another dimension in this weekend’s crucial clash against the Central Coast Mariners.
“I want to impress the coaches,” Abbas said.
“Now at I’m 100% and I have to take my chances.”
Abbas is out of contract come the end of the season and is looking to use the final rounds of the regular A-League season as an indication of what he can still bring to the side.
Turning 35 in August, the midfielder has no intentions of calling time on his glittered career.
Instead, he is pushing to earn a new deal.
“The body is getting stronger,” Abbas said.
“My goal is to be part of this team and to do something special for next year.”