Hazel Nali: Zambia goalkeeper hungry to add character to Hapoel Be’er Sheva

After her first clean sheet in Israel, the Copper Queens star reflected on her first move abroad and ambition with her new club

Zambia’s Hazel Nali is hungry to add more value to Hapoel Be’er Sheva after securing her first clean sheet in Israeli football.

The 22-year-old made her maiden professional move to the Israeli top-flight from Green Buffaloes, on a one-year deal last November.

She, however, bagged her first clean sheet as a professional on Thursday as Be’er Sheva defeated Hapoel Ra’anana 2-0 to claim their first win of the current Israeli Ligat Al campaign.

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“I am happy with the experience here and enjoying a great reception from everyone on the team since I got here,” Nali told Goal.

“I knew full well that to excel abroad, you’ve got to work hard and stay focused and that I think has got me this far as a player. 

“I’m looking forward to making my country [Zambia] proud and hoping to keep up with my hard work and determination.

“We may not have started well but I am happy we are gradually getting to understand ourselves as a team.

“I want to add more value to the team and strongly believe we can still end the season very well.”

Hazel Nali - ps

Debutants Hapoel Be’er Sheva currently sit in eighth on the Ligat Al table as they seek to finish as high as possible on their first season.

Nali, whose clinical goalkeeping display helped Andrea Bercholc’s team to end a five-game winless start, is reflecting on her first-ever switch and impact of compatriot Mary Mwakapila.
“I was so excited about this move and feel God made it possible,” she admitted.

“I waited for a long time for the opportunity and I’ve always prayed that one day I will play professional football.

“When this opportunity came, everything happened smoothly because I have been in the game for some time now and also think that all I’ve done as a goalkeeper spoke for me as well.

“When I got here, I did not have any problems coping with the challenges in the country. I met Mary here and having the presence of a fellow Zambian as a teammate made my adaptation easy.”

Nali began her career at Lusaka-based club Chibolya Queens before turning out for Nchanga Queens and later Green Buffaloes.

At international level, she was part of Zambia’s squad for the 2014 U17 Women’s World Cup in Costa and also featured at the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Namibia 2014 and Ghana 2018.

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