A coaching odyssey that began in Beit She'an 27 years ago reached its pinnacle on Wednesday when Elisha Levy was named as the new coach of the Israel national team.
The 58-year-old, whose first coaching job was at Hapoel Beit Shean in the third division, was unanimously selected to replace Eli Gutman by the Israel Football Association's five-man search committee. IFA chairman Ofer Eini, vice chairman Tamir Gilat, former Bnei Yehuda chairman Moshe Damayo and former national team players Tzvika Rosen and Haim Revivo, picked Levy ahead of Guy Luzon, Eli Ohana, Ran Ben-Shimon and Nir Klinger, who were also all interviewed for the position on Tuesday.
Levy spent most of the first 19 years of his career being disregarded and disrespected, but after succeeding at Bnei Sakhnin he was finally handed a chance at a big club with Maccabi Haifa in 2008. He guided the Greens to two Premier League championships and a place in the Champions League group stage in four years with Haifa before moving to Hapoel Beersheba. Under his guidance, Beersheba finished in second place in 2013/14 and ended last season in third, as well as reaching the State Cup final. Nevertheless, Beersheba chose against renewing Levy's contract and he decided not to take any other offer in the hope of being awarded the Israel job.