Fresh faces to take the field for Israel vs Iceland

Israel coach Luis Fernandez has given numerous players their first international chance since taking charge of the team in the summer.

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November 10, 2010 07:18
1 minute read.
ISRAEL COACH Luis Fernandez sprung several surpris

Luis Fernandez 311. (photo credit: (IFA website))

 
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Hapoel Petah Tikva striker Dudu Biton’s excellent early-season form was rewarded with a first call-up to the Israel national team on Tuesday morning.

Israel coach Luis Fernandez has given numerous players their first international chance since taking charge of the team in the summer, and did so once again when he announced his 20-man squad for next Wednesday’s friendly match against Iceland at Bloomfield Stadium.

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“This is a dream come true for me,” said Biton, who leads the Premier League with eight goals in nine matches this season, including a pair in this past weekend’s 2-0 victory over Betar Jerusalem.

“Ever since I was a small boy I dreamed of becoming an Israel player. I hope I get a chance to play and prove that I deserve this call-up.”

Maccabi Netanya’s Kobi Dajani also received his maiden call-up, while Blackpool’s Dekel Keinan, Bolton’s Tamir Cohen and Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Roberto Colautti, Yoav Ziv and Eliran Atar were all snubbed.

Despite the fact Israel doesn’t resume its Euro 2012 qualifiers until the end of March, when it hosts Latvia and Georgia, Fernandez believes the friendly against Iceland is far from a waste of time.

“The match against Iceland is very important,” said Fernandez, who will also have to do without the injured Yossi Benayoun, Tal Ben-Haim and Itai Shechter.



“This will be a good preparation for the matches in March.

I hope we will win both of those matches and then we will be able to say that we are back in contention.”

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