Ardiles 'very happy' with welcome

A small but vocal group of Betar supporters threw themselves upon the Argentinian coach.

ardiles 88 (photo credit: )
ardiles 88
(photo credit: )
New Betar Jerusalem coach Ossie Ardiles landed in Israel Tuesday to a loud welcome, and then stated that his goal is "only [to be] champions." The Argentinian was greeted by a small but vocal group of Betar supporters, who threw themselves upon the coach as soon as he left the restricted area at Ben-Gurion Airport. Ardiles immediately found himself wearing a Betar scarf and in the air, before some form of order was imposed. With the fans beating a drum and chanting a range of verses from "We'll celebrate next year at Safra Square," to "No Arabs at Betar," an overwhelmed Ardiles could only pause for a few seconds to speak to reporters before being whisked off to the capital. "I'm delighted to be here," he said, and "very happy with the welcome. "We need to start working now... We will work very hard to be champs." Ardiles did not speak specifically about his plans for Betar. "I am going to talk to the club first and after that, I will tell you about the players." When asked about which players he's targeting, Ardiles responded with a traditional "no comment." Ardiles will be officially introduced at a press conference on Wednesday in Jerusalem. During the buildup to the coach's arrival at the airport, it became clear that many Betar fans are excited, but not because Ardiles is a former World Cup winner or a coach with a pedigree in some of the top leagues in the world. "We're excited, but we'll have to see what foreigners he brings," said one teenage fan, who refused to identify himself for fear that his parents would learn that he had cut class to greet the coach. That same fan and his friends were among a group that collected NIS 5 from anyone they could - including some members of the press - to purchase a bouquet of flowers for Ardiles.