Ran Ben-Shimon was named as the new head coach of Beitar Jerusalem..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Ran Ben-Shimon was appointed on Sunday as the new coach of Beitar Jerusalem, signing a oneyear deal.
Ben-Shimon, who will hold his first training session with the team when it begins its pre-season preparations on Wednesday, was tapped for the position by owner Eli Tabib after he chose not to extend Slobodan Drapic’s contract.
Ben-Shimon coached Maccabi Petah Tikva from the start of the 2014/15 season before resigning in late February.
Petah Tikva led the standings for the first month of the season after winning its first four matches.
Ben-Shimon also led Petah Tikva to its first title in 12 years after winning the Toto Cup, but seven defeats from eight games in league action saw the team drop into the relegation playoffs and resulted in the coach’s departure.
Ben-Shimon, who guided Ironi Kiryat Shmona to the league title in 2011/12, has plenty to prove at Beitar after achieving little success in his previous stints at big high-pressure clubs. He was sacked by Maccabi Tel Aviv just eight matches into the 2008/09 campaign and lasted just one season at Hapoel Tel Aviv, which he joined in 2013.
One of the biggest challenges facing the 45-year-old is dealing with meddling owner Tabib.
Drapic became Tabib’s latest coaching casualty at Beitar last week, despite leading the team to a third-place finish in the Premier League, securing a berth in the Europa League for 2016/17.
Drapic was surprisingly appointed as Beitar coach last summer, replacing Guy Levy, who took over from Menahem Koretzki last February and guided the club to European qualification for the first time since 2008 with a fourth-place finish.