Katash-Sherf partnership begins at Maccabi Tel Aviv
Katash will replace Spahija as coach of the team; Former Maccabi coach Sherf appointed club CEO.
By ALLON SINAI
The rebuilding process at Maccabi Tel Aviv got well and truly underway on Tuesday afternoon after Oded Katash and Tzvika Sherf officially rejoined the club.
Katash, who signed a three-year contract, will replace Neven Spahija as coach of the team, with former Maccabi coach Sherf appointed as club CEO.
"This is a huge challenge," Katash said on Tuesday. "This was an offer I couldn't refuse. It didn't take me long to decide I'm ready for this job. I've developed over the years and I'm confident I can do this job in the best possible way.
Looking to next season, Katash added, "It's obvious that the goals are to make it to the Final Four and try to win the Euroleague."
Sherf, who is set to continue as Israel national team coach, was quick to make clear that he is not in charge of Katash and that the new 33-year-old coach will be making all the decisions.
"He is the coach and that means he shoulders all the responsibility," Sherf said.
"Katash is a good coach and he will be guiding the team on court. I will do all I can to help him. I've got a good feeling about everything that has gone on over the last couple of days."
Katash has only been a coach for the last two-and-a-half years, retiring from active play in 2004.
Nevertheless, Sherf is certain that the lack of experience isn't necessarily as important as many people or making it out to be. "No one is born with experience," said the 55-year-old Sherf, who guided Tel Aviv to 10 Israeli championships in his 10 seasons as coach.
"Katash has plenty of experience as a player at Maccabi and Panathinaikos. His personal attributes and his playing career will make him an extraordinary coach."
Maccabi Tel Aviv chairman Shimon Mizrahi said he did not have overly high expectations of the young coach.
"There's no reason for Katash to feel nervous," Mizrahi said. "I'm not setting the Final Four as a goal. Sherf will be an important part of the committee that will also include Katash, his assistants and [team manager] Moni Fanan. He will also help with the selection of players.
"We would like to see assistant coach Guy Goodes continue at the team, but if he chooses to be a head coach at another club we will not stand in his way."
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