Ben-Shimon eyes taking Beitar Jerusalem on title run

Ben-Shimon’s previous job was at Maccabi Petah Tikva, which he guided from the start of the 2014/15 season until he resigned in late February.

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June 8, 2016 23:14
2 minute read.
Ran Ben-Shimon was named as the new head coach of Beitar Jerusalem.

Ran Ben-Shimon was named as the new head coach of Beitar Jerusalem.. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)

 
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Ran Ben-Shimon set high expectations when he was unveiled as the new Beitar Jerusalem coach on Wednesday morning, revealing that the only bonus he asked for in his contract was a championship bonus.

Ben-Shimon was tapped for the position by owner Eli Tabib after the latter chose not to extend Slobodan Drapic’s contract.

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“Beitar Jerusalem always intrigued me both as a player and a coach and it is fun to finally be part of the club,” said Ben-Shimon. “During my talks with Tabib I made one request which was to include a championship bonus in my contract. I don’t have a bonus for second or third place. I will try and get the club to match my ambition. I’m not here to lower expectations.”

Ben-Shimon’s previous job was at Maccabi Petah Tikva, which he guided from the start of the 2014/15 season until he resigned 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.

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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, despite leading the team to a third-place finish in the Premier League and securing a berth in the Europa League for 2016/17.

Ben-Shimon inherits a depleted squad in urgent need of strengthening, with striker Nikita Rukavytsya leaving on Wednesday for Maccabi Haifa, which activated his release clause for 400,000 euros.

“I had long conversations with Eli and I feel that there is very good energy between us,” said Ben-Shimon. “Anything negative that is said about us will only challenge us more. I have gotten along with every owner I’ve worked with.”

Elsewhere, Maccabi Tel Aviv is set to host its first home match in 2016/17 away from its new home stadium in Netanya after being punished by the Israel Football Association’s disciplinary court on Wednesday.

Maccabi was found guilty of unsporting conduct by it supporters, players and staff members during last season’s match against Bnei Sakhnin at Doha Stadium.

The yellow-and-blue, which was also handed a NIS 80,000 fine, will host its home matches in Netanya next season due to the renovation work at Bloomfield Stadium.

Sakhnin was fined NIS 66,000 for its part in the mass brawl at the end of the match

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