Maccabi Tel Aviv appoints Caanen as coach

Just one week after being fired from Betar Jerusalem, the Dutch coach finds a new job.

Former Betar Jerusalem coach Ton Caanen was appointed as the new coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv on Tuesday night. The Dutchman was fired last week from coaching Betar and has wasted no time in finding a new job. An official announcement from Maccabi read, "A deal has been signed with Ton Caanen. He will coach the team until the end of the season and has an option for the following season as well." After leaving Betar four days ago, Caanen said that he wants to continue working in Israel, which he called his "second country". "Maccabi Tel Aviv is a huge challenge for me", said Caanen after signing for the yellow-and-blue. "They have excellent players, a good crowd and are a club with a great tradition. I'm glad to have the chance to coach Maccabi and I believe I will succeed." Maccabi has been without a coach ever since the departure of Nir Klinger last month. Ironically, Klinger left the yellow-and-blue after losing to Caanen's Betar 3-2 in a dramatic match held at the national stadium in Ramat Gan. General manager Eli Driks guided Maccabi in its last two league games and now will be able to return to his previous role. Following a series of disappointing results Tel Aviv returned to form on Saturday with a solid 2-1 win over Hapoel Kfar Saba. Maccabi are currently fifth in the Israeli Premier league on 20 points, seven points behind city rivals Hapoel Tel Aviv which is currently in second position. Caanen arrived at Betar in an advisory role eight weeks ago and two weeks later took up the position of head coach. Soon after, Russian owner Arkadi Gaydamak brought former French international Fernandez to Betar in the newly created role of general manager. The tension between the two was obvious from the start and Caanen's inevitable departure materialized last week. Maccabi captain Avi Nimni said after hearing of his new coach, "I'm happy with the appointment of Caanen and I hope he leads us to a new successful era." Caanen brought optimism to both the players and supporters of Betar, who had sung his name before and after each game. The Maccabi fans requested the signing of the Dutchman ever since the departure of Klinger and even unfurled a banner with his name on at Saturday's game. On Tuesday night they got their wish.