English coach Gregory takes over at Ashdod

May 20, 2010 03:14

John Gregory is hoping to lead Ashdod SC into Europe.

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John Gregory 248.88

John Gregory 248.88. (photo credit: )

Despite failing to guide Ahi Nazareth to another season of Premier League soccer, John Gregory will be coaching in Israel’s top-flight for the foreseeable future after signing a three-year contract with Ashdod SC on Tuesday.

The former England international and Aston Villa, Derby County and QPR manager joined Nazareth at the start of December and, despite some positive results, couldn’t help the team avoid relegation to the National League after finishing in last position in the standings.

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However, Gregory’s poise and charisma combined with his ability to instill belief in his struggling side, impressed many onlookers, including Ashdod owner Jacky Ben-Zaken, resulting in his signing at Ashdod as Yossi Mizrahi’s replacement.

“I’m very happy to be coming to a place where Yossi Mizrahi did a wonderful job,” Gergory said.

“I would be happy to repeat this success and perhaps even guide the team to Europe.”

Mizrahi isn’t expected to be out of a job for long, with both Hapoel Ashkelon and Maccabi Tel Aviv rumored to be interested in his services.

“Yossi Mizrahi asked me if he could leave the club, explaining that after five years together it was time to part ways,” Ben-Zaken said. “I wish Yossi all the best. It is not easy for me to say goodbye to him.”

Mizrahi, a former Betar Jerusalem goalkeeper, led Betar to the league title as head coach in the 2006/07 season.

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