Local Soccer: Luzon throws in the towel

32-year-old guided Hapoel Tel Aviv to just one win in its first 10 league matches.

luzon 224.88 (photo credit: asaf kliger)
luzon 224.88
(photo credit: asaf kliger)
Guy Luzon resigned as coach of Hapoel Tel Aviv on Sunday, saying that the only thing that could help the club is his immediate departure. The 32-year-old guided the team to just one win in its first 10 league matches and decided to avoid being fired by turning-in his resignation. "You can't replace all the players and the only thing that will help is my immediate resignation," Luzon said in a meeting with Hapoel management on Sunday. "I'm making this move because I think it's in the best interest of the club." Hapoel invested heavily over the summer and was one of the favorites to battle Betar Jerusalem for the league title. However, the team got off to one of its worst ever starts to a Premier League season and is currently rock bottom of the standings. Luzon did lead the side to success in the UEFA Cup, helping the team qualify for the group stage of the competition. The failures in the league, however, overshadowed the European achievements and the 2-0 loss to Maccabi Haifa on Saturday turned out to be Luzon's final match in charge. "I'm leaving with a heavy heart and I hope that I will be able to coach the team once more in the future," said Luzon, who had never coached outside Maccabi Petah Tikva before joining Hapoel in the summer. The Hapoel management said on Sunday: "We sadly accepted Guy's resignation. We thank Guy for all he contributed to the club and for all his effort. We think Guy is one of the most talented coaches in Israel and hope that one day he will return to coach the team." The early favorites to replace Luzon are Eli Gutman, who coaches AEL Limassol in Cyprus, and Eli Cohen, who was sacked from Maccabi Tel Aviv earlier this season. Hapoel's next match is in the UEFA Cup group stage against Spanish side Getafe on Thursday.