MACCABI TEL AVIV goalkeeper Guy Haimov 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Tal Banin held his first training session as Hapoel Haifa coach on Monday
morning after replacing Nitzan Shirazi, who resigned on Saturday following the
team’s abysmal start to the Premier League season.
Haifa won just one of
its first 13 matches of the season, picking up only seven points to
Shirazi had been under pressure since the very beginning of the
season, with Haifa losing its first five matches of the
However, despite the support of owner Yoav Katz, Shirazi
decided to leave following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Hapoel Ramat Hasharon which
left the team in 14th place, which leads to relegation to the National League at
the end of the season.
Banin will be guiding a club side for the first
time at Haifa after beginning his coaching career as an assistant coach at
Maccabi Petah Tikva before going on to guide the Israel Under-17 team and
working as an assistant to national team coach Luis Fernandez in the last 16
“I’m closing a circle by coming back to Hapoel Haifa and I’m very
motivated and hungry to succeed,” said Banin, who began his illustrious playing
career at the club in 1987 before going on to record 78 appearances for the
“We need to lift the players because this club deserves
to play in the Premier League. I believe we can stay in the league.
are facing Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa and Kiryat Shmona in our next three
matches, which are all as difficult as they are important to our
In Premier League action on Monday, Maccabi Petah Tikva won for
the first time in eight matches, defeating Bnei Yehuda 1-0 in National Stadium
in Ramat Gan.
Omer Golan scored the only goal of the match in the 56th
minute, making the most of an uncharacteristic blunder by the usually reliable
Bnei Yehuda ‘keeper Dele Aiyenugba.
The win moves Petah Tikva tied on 16
points with 10th placed Bnei Yehuda, which is winless in its last six matches.