(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
New Hapoel Eilat coach Oded Katash said he hopes to guide the team back to its
glory days after being officially unveiled in Israel’s southernmost city on
Katash signed a two-year deal to coach the BSL’s newest member
last week, with BC Habika’a owner Doron Herzikowitz moving the club to Eilat
after being promised NIS 1.5 million from mayor Meir Yitzhak
Eilat’s total budget is expected to reach NIS 6.0 million and
Katash believes there is great potential in the relocated club.
excited to be here,” said Katash, whose 18- month reign at Hapoel Jerusalem came
to an abrupt ending last December following a 22-point thrashing at the hands of
“I have met people with a vision and a long term plan and this
reminds me of the time when Hapoel Galil started anew in the Gilboa.
hope we can recreate what the club had here in the 1990’s.” Katash will
basically have to build a new roster from scratch, with veteran Meir Tapiro, who
played for Eilat in its heyday (1997- 1998), one of the names being mentioned in
connection with the new team.
Hapoel Eilat was one of Israel’s top clubs
in the 1990’s, gaining promotion to the top flight ahead of the 1991/92 season
under the guidance of current Israel coach Arik Shivek and remaining there until
Eilat recorded its greatest season in 1997/98, losing in the
playoff finals to Maccabi Tel Aviv and claiming a home victory over Greek giant
Panathinaikos in the round of 16 of the Eurocup before ultimately being knocked
out on the road.
“After three years with Habika’a we decided to do
something different,” said owner Herzikowitz.
“We wanted to do something
with Zionism and soul and I’m certain we will succeed.
a business. It is not a place where you make money, but rather a place
where you spend your money out of love.”