betar jerusalem 311.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
The sheriff is back in town.
Eli Cohen, also known as the sheriff, held
his first training session as Betar Jerusalem coach on Tuesday and spoke of his
confidence of helping the yellow- and-black maintain its Premier League
Jerusalem is currently in 12th place in the standings, just two
points above the relegation zone, losing its last three matches without scoring
a goal, which resulted in Yuval Naim’s resignation last week.
“It is 10
years since my last time at Beit Vegan,” said Cohen, who began his third tenure
at the club on Tuesday after guiding it to the championship in 1996/97 and
saving it from relegation in 2001/02.
“I feel like I’ve returned
home. Regardless of where I’ve worked, Betar has always been close to my
heart. We have good players and I believe in them.
“This squad of players
is good enough to finish in the top half of the table and I want to help them
regain their lost confidence so that we can guide the club to
Cohen, whose first match in charge will be against Maccabi Tel
Aviv at Teddy Stadium on Monday, hasn’t coached in almost three years since
spending five months at Ironi Kiryat Shmona during the 2008/09 campaign at the
end of which the club was eventually relegated to the National
Bnei Lod, which effectively ended Naim’s time as Betar coach by
shocking Jerusalem in the State Cup last 32, was rewarded with a home tie
against Hapoel Tel Aviv in the draw for the round of 16 on
Kiryat Shmona, which is still dreaming of claiming an
unprecedented treble, hosts Maccabi Netanya in the only all-Premier League
showdown in the last 16.
In other ties: Betar Kfar Saba, the only
remaining third-division team in the draw, hosts Hapoel Ramat Hasharon, Maccabi
Petah Tikva visits Hapoel Jerusalem, Hapoel Beersheba plays Maccabi Herzliya,
Upper Nazareth faces Hapoel Ramat Gan, Maccabi Haifa goes to Hapoel Kfar Saba
and Ashdod SC hosts Maccabi Umm el-Fahem.