Local Soccer: Hap TA coach Gutman wins contract extension

Deal ensures Gutman and assistant Abuksis will continue to guide team affairs through 2011.

Eli Gutman 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Eli Gutman 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Tel Aviv coach Eli Gutman has been rewarded for his team’s impressive performances this season with a one-year contract extension.
The deal, announced Sunday, will ensure Gutman and assistant coach Yossi Abuksis will continue to guide team affairs at Hapoel through 2011.
Despite Hapoel’s sensational success this season there had been some speculation that Tel Aviv would look to replace Gutman at the end of the current campaign.
However, after his team’s Europa League effort ended in the Round of 32 earlier this season, Gutman has led his side to within three points of reigning-champion Maccabi Haifa as well as the State Cup semifinal in recent weeks, leaving Hapoel ownership with no real option but to extend the 52-year-old’s contract.

“I’m proud to continue and serve a club of the stature of HapoelTel Aviv,” said Gutman, who is set to receive a significant pay riseand will also have a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for aEuropean club.
“I hope that together with the management, the players and the coaching staff we will lead the club to success.”
Hapoelplayers will get the next two days off before they begin theirpreparation for next Monday’s crunch showdown at Maccabi Haifa.