Sla visa Jokano vic (center) was unveiled as Maccabi Tel Aviv’s new head coach yesterday, posing for photos with sports director Jordi Cruyff (left) and CEO Martin Bain..
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Hapoel Beersheba begins its Premier League title defense against Hapoel Ra’anana at Turner Stadium, while Maccabi Haifa welcomes Hapoel Tel Aviv in a mouthwatering opener.
The 2016/17 fixtures were revealed on Monday, with the league campaign to get underway on August 20. Beersheba faces State Cup holder Maccabi Haifa in the Super Cup in Netanya on August 11.
In other notable fixtures, the first Tel Aviv derby of the season between Maccabi and Hapoel will be played on the weekend of September 24, while Beersheba faces runner-up Maccabi Tel Aviv for the first time in what will be their eighth match of the campaign on the weekend of October 29.
Meanwhile, Maccabi Tel Aviv sports director Jordi Cruyff has been linked with a move away from the club, with English newspaper The Sun reporting on Monday that Premier League club Everton will turn to Cruyff to fill the role of director of football should it fail to land Leicester’s Steve Walsh.
Walsh is believed to be Everton manager Ronald Koeman’s first choice, but seems unlikely to leave the English champion after signing a new deal with the Foxes six weeks ago.
Cruyff, who joined Maccabi in the summer of 2012, has been rumored to be on his way out of the club throughout the summer.
Cruyff’s departure would continue a summer of change at Maccabi, with star scorer Eran Zahavi joining Chinese club Guangzhou R&F, Shota Arveladze coming in as the new head coach following Peter Bosz’s departure for Ajax and CEO Martin Bain leaving for English Premier League club Sunderland.
Jack Angelides, who served as owner Mitch Goldhar’s representative between 2009 and 2014, has returned to fill the void left by Bain for now, while Dutchman Patrick Van Leeuwen, who was brought in this summer as Maccabi’s new performance director, being mentioned as a possible candidate to take on Cruyff’s responsibilities should he leave.
Van Leeuwen was hired to run the youth academy and scouting department, previously working at the Feyenoord youth department as well as at Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine and Kairat Almaty in Kazakhstan.
“My previous jobs have been with academies but also with first teams.
Not only developing the structure of the academy but working with everyone that is involved,” he told the Maccabi website. “In the beginning of my career, I did a lot of field work and was a coach myself. I assisted other coaches and then as soon as one becomes a manager of an academy or of a club it becomes more organizational work as well. This is the part I like a lot and what I’ll be doing to assist Maccabi and help bring the club to the next level.”