Local Soccer: Levy takes over as Mac PT coach

First game in charge to be against his former team Maccabi Haifa.

rony levy 248.88 (photo credit: courtesy)
rony levy 248.88
(photo credit: courtesy)
Roni Levy held his first training session as Maccabi Petah Tikva coach on Tuesday and admitted that he's very happy to be back on the sideline. Levy, who guided Maccabi Haifa to three consecutive championships in his first three seasons as a coach, left Kiryat Eliezer at the end of last season after two relatively unsuccessful campaigns and has been out of a job since. "I'm very happy to be starting this new chapter in my career," Levy said. "I felt like it was time I got back to coaching." Levy explained why he decided to accept Petah Tikva's offer to replace Guy Azuri, who resigned on Monday. "Maccabi Petah Tikva is a proven club in Israeli soccer and I like the challenge of guiding this club," he said. "At the time I left Haifa I felt I didn't have the energy to immediately get back to coaching, but now I feel ready." Ironically, Levy's first match in charge of Petah Tikva will be against Maccabi Haifa on January 10, after the three-week winter break. "I understand that there will be a lot of interest in the match, but this is my first game as coach and I would obviously like to win it regardless of the opponent," Levy said. "I'm excited to be back and I'm ready to start." Haifa, which finished in a disappointing fifth position in the league standings last season, has been revitalized under new coach Elisha Levy and is four points clear at the top of the table going into the winter break. However Levy will know that although the input of youngsters such as Eyal Golsa and Shai Maimon has been important for Haifa, the team is nowhere near as impressive as the title-winning teams of 2003-2005. This was underlined on Monday night when Maccabi hardly mustered a shot on goal in a drab 0-0 draw at home against last season's champion Betar Jerusalem.