Reuven Atar returned to the club as head coach and excited the fans' imagination, they cut him no slack, burst on to the field and celebrated with the coach and his players
By Yitzhak Haberman
Maccabi Haifa's players are not hiding in air conditioned places nor did the Euro keep them away. Many of them (approximately 2500) came to cheer their team that failed all of its tasks last season; they especially applauded Reuven Atar, their long time idol, who returned home as the team's head coach. Since 1982 no home player had coached the team, back then it was Jonathan (Joni) Hardi.
The fans gave no consideration to the fact that the team's purchase list is the shortest one in years and only three new players joined the team: the Dutch-Israeli defender, Samuel Scheimann, another defender from Bnei-Sachnin, Oded Elkaiam and Maccabi Netany'a midfielder, Chen Ezra. These three were joined by four players who returned from other teams: the Ukrainian stopper Andrii Pyliavskyi, scorer Shlomi Azulai, midfielder Sintiyahu Salalik and goalie Amir Edri who last season played for Maccabi Netanya that was coached by Reuven Atar.
Prior to the fans bursting on to the field, a press
conference was held in the presence of the club's president Yaakov Shachar, CEO Itamar Chizik, Reuven Atar and the team's captain Yaniv Katan. Shachar unraveled that Atar was supposed to coach the team last year already, but Elisha Levi earned that right by winning the Championship.
Atar mentioned his great excitement and emphasized that the team will be committed to an offensive game. To the question if he is not disturbed by the fact that only three foreigners will play for the team, he argued that the current players have enough talent.
The club's CEO, Itamar Chizik, talked about the season tickets organization and denied the publications as if the goal is to reach 9000 season tickets holders. According to him, the goal is to reach the largest amount possible.
Haifa will leave for training camp in Austria on July 16th during which they will hold four practice games against teams for Bulgaria, Turkey and Czech.