(photo credit: )
When Dror Kashtan was selected as the new manager of Israel following the resignation of Avraham Grant just under two years ago there was an air of inevitability about it. Kashtan had paid his dues in a coaching career which has now lasted an impressive 31 years and had proved himself as the most successful coach in Israeli soccer history.
While he is now known as a coach par excellence, Kashtan's playing career was also noteworthy. He spent 13 years playing as a defender for his home town Hapoel Petah Tikva where in 1962 he became the only Israeli to have ever been called up to the national team squad before playing even one game for his senior club side.
Following a spell playing at Hapoel Kfar Saba, Kashtan was made coach of the team in 1977. That began a series of coaching positions which saw Kashtan win six league titles, including with Kfar Saba in 1982, and the league and State Cup double with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 1996.
He has coached a total of 13 Israeli teams including Betar Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv both on three separate occasions.
Tomorrow: A high jumper who leapt into Israeli history