A day after leading Ironi Kiryat Shmona into the UEFA Cup in its first season in the top flight, Ran Ben-Shimon was introduced as the new coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv on Monday, putting the official stamp on one of the worst-kept secrets in Israeli soccer. The 38-year-old, who replaced Nir Levin at Maccabi, impressed the club's new owner Alex Shnaider by helping Kiryat Shmona gain promotion to the Premier League last May and then ending this season in third place. The billionaire businessman was not present at the press conference in Tel Aviv on Monday but was represented by his right-hand man in Israel, Aviv Bushinsky, who insisted that Ben-Shimon was the club's first choice when it was looking for a new coach for the coming season. "He was our first choice and will have overall responsibility for the playing side of the club," Bushinsky said. "No player will be brought to the club unless he wants them to come and play." Ben-Shimon himself, who sat alongside the club's general manager, Avi Nimni, admitted he saw the position as a great responsibility, and would give his all to help the club achieve success. He also paid tribute to former Maccabi captain Nimni, whom he described as one of the club's "strong points." The coach said his goals for the season would be to try and make sure Maccabi qualifies for Europe and to create a team which plays attractive soccer. "This is a team with many fans and I want to give them a team which they can be proud of," he stated. Maccabi Tel Aviv is the most decorated soccer club in Israeli history, having won 19 league titles and 22 State Cups. However in recent years the team has failed to reach the upper echelons of the sport at home and abroad, fighting relegation for much of this past season before finishing in sixth place, just four points above the drop zone.