Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Oscar Garcia (right) with club Sporting Director Jordi Cruyffs..
(photo credit: MACCABI TEL AVIV WEBSITE)
Oscar Garcia insists his decision to return to coach Maccabi Tel Aviv was a simple one, explaining that his gut told him it was the right thing to do.
The 41-year-old Spaniard arrived in Israel on Thursday morning with his wife and three daughters, including his two older daughters from his first marriage, in order to finalize the finer details of his return to the country.
Oscar led Maccabi to its first Premier League championship in 10 years in 2012/13, but left the club only two days after its final match of the campaign, explaining that “some circumstances in life transcend professional matters and I have been forced to suddenly take this decision.”
Oscar never denied that one of the main reasons behind his decision to leave Israel was due to his wish to be closer to Spain and his two daughters from his first marriage, especially following the concern raised by his family during Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012.
However, the fact he brought his entire family along on Thursday to help select an apartment in Israel indicates that he has their full support and will be able to fully focus on the job on hand.
“When I received Maccabi’s offer to return to Tel Aviv, the decision was a simple one for me – I know the team, I know the town and most important I know the people,” Oscar wrote in a letter published on the Maccabi website.
“As you all know, I’m a person who makes decisions at a gut level, and my gut is telling me this is the right time to come back. The main thing that has always guided me throughout my career... is my ambition to move ahead. That’s what I want to do at Maccabi."
“Even when I was away last season, I kept up with what was going on at Maccabi all the time. I saw how well the club were doing, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t got our work cut out. We still have to show a lot of determination and work very hard to show we’re able to meet our expectations and the challenges ahead.”
Oscar coached English Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion this season, but resigned following its playoff semifinal defeat to Derby County.
He was hoping to fill the vacant positions at Scottish powerhouse Celtic or Southampton of the English Premier League, but when neither of those offers materialized he didn’t want to risk remaining empty handed and accepted Maccabi’s two-year deal to replace Paulo Sousa, who left for FC Basel.
Assistant coaches Juan Torrijo and Ruben Martinez will join Oscar in returning to Maccabi, with the two also being the main figures in Garcia’s professional staff in 2012/13. They also followed their boss to Brighton.
The entire staff will be in Israel for the start of training on June 15, with the yellow-and-blue to play its first Champions League qualifier in mid-July.
“When I stood on the podium at Rabin Square during last year’s title celebration, I said: ‘There’s a yellow glow in my heart, there will always be a yellow glow in my heart,’ and I meant every word,” added Oscar. “I’ve always been a man of few words, not good at making speeches. Time is short and there’s much work to do.”