(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Despite protests by supporters against his appointment and the fact that he wasn’t the club’s top candidate for the job, new Beitar Jerusalem coach Sharon Mimer believes the team can regain its place among the Premier League’s elite under his guidance.
Mimer was unveiled as Beitar’s new coach on Monday, two weeks after he was fired from his position at Hapoel Kfar Saba following a 10-match winless streak.
Mimer replaces Ran Ben-Shimon, whose tumultuous tenure at Beitar came to an end on Sunday after just eight months.
Ben-Shimon left Beitar with the team sitting in fifth place in the Premier League standings, tied on points with Ironi Kiryat Shmona in fourth, despite winning only seven of 21 matches.
Beitar owner Eli Tabib was hoping to bring in Guy Luzon, but he turned down the offer to come to Jerusalem.
The La Familia fan club attacked Mimer in a statement even before he was appointed, but Tabib decided to sign him regardless on the recommendation of agent and former player Avi Nimni.
Mimer’s first game at the helm will already come on Tuesday when Beitar hosts Ironi Kiryat Shmona in the first leg of the State Cup quarterfinals.
“It is a great honor to coach a club like Beitar Jerusalem,” said Mimer, who was Barak Bachar’s assistant at Hapoel Beersheba before joining Kfar Saba last January. “I didn’t expect to receive an offer to coach Beitar after Kfar Saba, but I’m looking forward to this challenge. There isn’t a coach who would turn down Beitar Jerusalem. Every coach and player dreams about coming here.”
Mimer was confident he would win the fans over.
“Ben-Shimon has left behind an excellent squad which belongs at the top of the Premier League,” he added. “If the players believe in me we will be able to realize our potential. “If the fans give me a chance they won’t regret it.”
Elsewhere, Maccabi Haifa snapped a six-match winless streak in the Premier League on Monday, defeating Hapoel Ashkelon 2-0 for its first victory of 2017.
Omer Damari netted the opener in the 27th minute, scoring from the rebound of his missed penalty, with Eliran Atar clinching the three points from the spot kick five minutes from time.