Mourtada Returns to Pirates
By: Mick Moninghoff
July 29, 2021
WORCESTER, MA – The Massachusetts Pirates have signed kicker Ali Mourtada for the stretch run in their first season in the Indoor Football League. Mourtada is no stranger to the Pirates nor the IFL for that matter. The 5-8, 165 lb. kicker, who grew up just miles from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, was the placekicker for the Pirates in their inaugural season when he connected on 75 of 110 extra points and converted 7 of 17 field goals, including a long of 48 yards against the Maine Mammoths on June 2, 2018.
This week the Pirates placed injured kicker Josh Gable on the long term injured reserve list, prompting Co-Owner, team President and General Manager Jawad Yatim to make a move.
“I’m living out here in Arizona and I’ve been in touch with Jawad a little bit over the past year,” Mourtada said. “Things weren’t working out but after the injury to Josh, Jawad hit me up a couple of days ago. We talked and worked it out and now I’m looking forward to getting back,” he added.
The former Pace and Assumption University kicker’s IFL experience came in 2015 when he played four games for the Wichita Falls Nighthawks. A few months prior he played one game in the Arena Football League with the Las Vegas Outlaws making five of six extra points. In 2017 he had an invite to work out with the Cleveland Browns and the following season was kicking for the Pirates. For Mourtada, who will be with the team this Saturday night in Spokane, this will be his first game experience since the 2018 season.
“I decided to move back to Arizona and really dove into looking at NFL opportunities and getting myself ready for combines that I would attend. Within six months I was in rookie mini-camp with the Washington Football Team. I had a few XFL workouts and was hoping to get signed as I showed pretty well, but you go, do what you can and it’s kind of out of your hands at that point. Since then, I haven’t been back on the field,” he said.
The lack of game action is not a cause for concern for the team’s all-time leader with 134 kicking points.
“Actually, I’d definitely say there is more confidence this time around after having that full season under my belt. There were definitely some growing pains starting off in 2018, but now knowing what to expect in the indoor game I think is really going to be beneficial this time around,” Mourtada said.
He remembers how kicking on the Phoenix Field turf at the DCU Center can be challenging, especially for a first timer.
“It took me some time kicking at the DCU Center to figure out where the best line was. Did I want to drive it through and I’d lose a little bit of accuracy? If I hit it up the middle, then I might hit the scoreboard, so it took me about half way through the season to figure out that I could go from the right side of the scoreboard and I could still kick it straight and it would go around the scoreboard from that angle, so that’s going to be useful starting off right away,” he stated.
It’s been almost three years since he’s suited up with Massachusetts. Did Mourtada ever think he’d be back with the Pirates?
“For me it’s just day to day preparation and if things happen to go a certain way, if things line up and an opportunity fits myself, my family and those around me and it’s good for the organization, then that door is always open and it seems like all of those thing’s kind of fit together at the right time so I’m excited to get back. I’m feeling great. I’m excited to go out and play my role,” he said.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Pirates play all home games at Phoenix Field at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA, 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508)452-MASS (6277), email email@example.com or visit http://www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available now at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For 2022 season, half-season, luxury, or group ticket packages please call 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on Facebook via Facebook.com/MAPirates, Instagram @mass.pirates, and Twitter @mass_pirates. #GetHooked #AllAboard