Local Soccer: Betar hires Yitzhak Schum

58-year-old Schum, who captained Israel's 1970 World Cup side replaces Yossi Mizrahi.

betar 298.88 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
betar 298.88
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Yitzhak Schum was named as the new coach of Betar Jerusalem on Wednesday night after agreeing to terms with club owner Arkadi Gaydamak and chairman Eli Arazi in an afternoon meeting. "I'm very happy to be joining this huge club," said Schum, who replaces Yossi Mizrahi. "This is a massive challenge for me. I believe that, together with the rest of the staff, we can accomplish all our goals and targets. "I was very impressed with Mr. Gaydamak and Mr. Arazi and can't wait to begin working." The 58-year-old Schum, who captained Israel's 1970 World Cup side, was Shlomo Scharf's assistant on the national team between 1992 and 1999, but made his big break as a coach in 2003 after joining Maccabi Haifa. Schum led the side to the Champions League, the first time in Israeli soccer history, and guided the team to victories over Olympiakos and Manchester United. The following season, the coach joined Greek giant Panathinaikos and led the club to a league and cup double, as well as the Champions League. Schum was forced to leave during his second season at the club after clashing with the team owner and spent the next couple of years coaching in Bulgaria and Russia. In August 2006, he replaced Dror Kashtan at Hapoel Tel Aviv, but once again, he didn't last long and was fired at the beginning of February after leading the team to the UEFA Cup Round of 32. "I'm extremely happy about signing Schum," said Arazi, who on Tuesday signed Giora Spiegel as his consultant on soccer matters. "I think Spiegel and Schum will make an excellent team that can lead Betar to many achievements. Starting tomorrow, we will begin our preparations for next season and work towards making Betar a better team."