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New Betar Jerusalem coach Itzhak Schum said on Wednesday that the team will be aiming to challenge on all fronts in the coming season despite a tumultuous summer during which the club's very existence was under threat.
Betar seemed to be heading towards bankruptcy administration, but a last-minute solution was reached on Tuesday, when owner Arkadi Gaydamak agreed to relinquish control and allow sponsor Guma Aguiar to fund the club.
Schum, who guided Betar to a Premier League and State Cup double in the 2007/08 campaign before being sacked at the start of last season, held his first training session at the club after returning to the helm on Tuesday and, despite Betar's recent struggles, said he will not be looking for any excuses.
"We are not the underdog. As long as Betar exists it will always aspire to win the championship," Schum said.
"I'm not one of those coaches who continually say that they are building the team for future seasons. We need to challenge for every title every year. The fact we started training late is no excuse and we will try and make up lost ground in the coming weeks."
Ahead of the training session, midfielder Aviram Bruchian was introduced as the team's new captain, with the players also meeting Aguiar for the first time on Wednesday.
"Bruchian deserves the honor. This is a right move," defender Shimon Gershon said. "He has been at Betar since he was born and we are all behind him."
Gershon was hopeful the players can keep Aguiar happy for as long as possible.
"We would have been in a serious problem had it not been for Aguiar," he said. "He told us he doesn't like to lose so I hope we give him reasons to celebrate."