Yuval Naim 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Yuval Naim held his first training session as coach of Betar Jerusalem on
Wednesday evening after signing a one-year deal to guide the club earlier in the
After David Amsalem quit on Monday and Eli Ohana refused to step in,
Betar chairman Itzik Kornfein turned to the 44-year-old Naim, who has plenty of
experience guiding struggling clubs.
Amsalem left after his requests to
strengthen the squad were turned down by Kornfein for financial reasons, but
Naim is still hopeful he will be able to add at least a couple of players to the
team ahead of what promises to be a very difficult season at Teddy
“I don’t know many coaches who would turn down the opportunity
to come to Betar Jerusalem,” Naim said on Wednesday. “We have some very talented
young players, but we will need to sign two or three new players.
do whatever it takes to make Betar a better team.”
Naim began his
coaching career at Maccabi Ramat Amidar, before moving to his childhood club
Hapoel Ramat Gan in 2005. He guided Ramat Gan to promotion to the Premier League
in 2008/09 and helped it avoid relegation the following year.
last season as coach of Hapoel Petah Tikva, but despite relatively impressive
results he left in April after clashing with co-owner Tomer
Earlier this summer, Naim was arrested on suspicion of
blackmailing Gal Hatzor, another of the Petah Tikva owners.
Both Naim and
Hatzor denied the claims and he was quickly released.
“Had you told me a
year ago that I would be the coach of Betar Jerusalem I would not have believed
you,” said Naim, who will be on the sidelines for Betar’s Premier League opener
at Hapoel Beersheba on Saturday.
“But I proved my worth over the last
year and I promise to give my all to the club.”
Also Wednesday, Gili
Landau agreed to remain coach of Hapoel Petah Tikva, a day after resigning
because the bankrupt club demanded he cut his salary by a third.
meeting with Petah Tikva CEO Effi Tzafrir, Landau agreed to have his wages
reduced by 20 percent, opening the door for his return.
“We are happy to
have come to an understanding with Gili Landau,” Tzafrir said. “Landau was loyal
to the club and the players throughout the recent difficult months and we are
hoping for a good season together.”
Petah Tikva, which begins the season
with a nine-point deduction after going into liquidation last month, opens its
campaign against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Sunday.