Oded Katash was introduced as Hapoel Jerusalem’s head coach yesterday, beginning his second tenure at the club after also guiding the team in the 2010/11 campaign before resigning early in the subsequent season.
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Oded Katash is confident he is ready for the challenge of coaching Hapoel Jerusalem and believes the team can still defend its BSL title.
The 43-year-old was introduced as Hapoel’s new head coach on Wednesday, six days after it was announced that he would replace Mody Maor.
Katash only officially joined the team on Tuesday due to his role as the head coach of the Israel national team.
He will remain in charge of the blue-and-white, which lost to Estonia in 2019 FIBA World Cup qualification on Sunday and doesn’t play its next qualifier until June 29, two weeks after the BSL final.
Katash is Jerusalem’s third coach this season, replacing Maor, who was promoted from the assistant coach’s position following the firing of Fotis Katsikaris last November. Maor, who had never previously served as a head coach, struggled to lift the roster. Hapoel won only one of five Eurocup regular season games under his stewardship, just as it had done with Katsikaris, and failed to qualify for the Top 16.
Jerusalem was also knocked out in the semifinals of the State Cup two-and-a-half weeks ago by eventual winner Hapoel Holon and went 7-5 with Maor in the BSL, losing 88-79 to Ironi Ness Ziona in what proved to be his last game at the helm last Sunday.
“I’m happy to be here, even though as a coach and a colleague I can’t say I’m happy to arrive in the middle of the season,” said Katash, whose first game in charge will be against Bnei Herzliya on Sunday.
“This is never an ideal situation and certainly no one planned it this way.
“This club has come a long way over recent years to reach its current status and it is a great privilege to be here,” added Katash, who also guided the team in the 2010/11 campaign before resigning early in the subsequent season due to a poor run of results.
“This is a great challenge, but I think I have also come a long way as a coach and I feel ready for the challenge and I’m confident in my abilities. Hapoel Jerusalem is a big club and like any big club its goal is to win the championship.”