Local Soccer: Betar 'keeper Kale signs with Beersheba

Haifa's Arazi eyes end.

The exodus from Betar Jerusalem began on Wednesday when goalkeeper Tvrtko Kale signed a one-year contract to play in newly-promoted Hapoel Beersheba. The 35-year-old was brought to Israel by Maccabi Tel Aviv from Neuchatel Xamax in the Croatian League ahead of the 2006/07 season and was transferred to Betar in June 2007. He was Betar's first goalkeeper in the last two seasons, winning one league title and two State Cups. Kale is the first player former Betar assistant coach Guy Azuri has signed since he was named as Beersheba's new coach last week. The Croatian 'keeper may soon be followed to Beersheba by a Betar teammate, with defender Shimon Gershon rumored to be considering a move to the capital of the Negev. In other news, Maccabi Haifa announced on Wednesday that 38-year-old defender Alon Harazi will retire following next season's Champions League qualifiers. Harazi, who broke the Premier League appearances record this season, will remain at the club after his retirement, becoming Haifa's chief scout. "We need an experienced player like Alon for the Champions League qualifiers so I asked him to remain in the squad for the qualifiers and after that to begin his new job," Haifa chariman Jacob Shahar said. Also Wednesday, Maccabi Tel Aviv announced that its star midfielder Maor Buzaglo will be out for six months after an MRI scan revealed that he tore knee ligaments in Maccabi's last match of the season against Ashdod SC on Saturday. "This is very painful news for the team and Maor," the Maccabi management said in a press release. "We're convinced Maor will be back to lead the team next season, but for the time being we'll have to find the way to get over his absence in the first part of the season."