Netanya begins to rebuild under Yammer

German 1990 World Cup winning captain Lothar Matthaus has been touted as a candidate for coach.

Matthaus 88 (photo credit: )
Matthaus 88
(photo credit: )
New Maccabi Netanya owner Daniel Yammer has wasted no time since agreeing to take over the club three days ago, already beginning a major overhaul of the Sharon-region team. Yammer's first week in charge began with a fury of activity, with Netanya's stormy Sunday highlighted by the departure of coach Reuven Atar. The coach was not satisfied with the imminent arrival of Eyal Berkovic as general manager and has decided he would like no part in a new Netanya in which he would have far less leeway than in the past. Atar coached Netanya for the last three-and-a-half seasons and guided the team to a successful seventh-place finish in this year's Premier League. "After the new structure of the club was explained to him, coach Atar made clear that he would like to be the lone decider of professional matters and that he will not accept the new arrangement," read a Yammer press release. Berkovic played an important role in the arrival of Yamer's first signing at the club, out-of-contract Maccabi Tel Aviv goalkeeper Liran Strauber. "I'm very hopeful of achieving success at Maccabi Netanya," said Strauber after signing a three-year contract with the club on Sunday. "Netanya has a huge fan base and enormous potential." Yammer will only officially take charge of the club on June 1, but the Jewish-German businessman is already setting his sights on some lofty signings. German 1990 World Cup winning captain Lothar Matthaus has been mentioned as a replacement for Atar, but Israeli Marco Balbul is a much likelier candidate for the coaching position. Yammer is also planning on adding more players to the team and though it is still unclear who will be next to join Strauber, it promises to be an interesting summer in Netanya. Betar Jerusalem 2,Hapoel Petah Tikva 1 Betar's comeback win in the final match of the 2005/06 Premier League season will be little consolation for Betar coach Luis Fernandez, who is leaving the team after a less-than-successful season. Fernandez may have achieved the goal of booking Jerusalem a spot in European competition, but its displays under his guidance were far from inspiring. Third-place Betar will be joined in the UEFA Cup by Hapoel Tel Aviv and Bnei Yehuda, with Maccabi Haifa playing in the Champions League qualifiers and Maccabi Petah Tikva attempting to get to the UEFA Cup via the Intertoto Cup. Betar and Petah Tikva began the match with weakened sides, with the game not having any kind of importance for either team. The game was an open affair throughout the 90 minutes, with both sides concentrating on attacking rather then defending. Petah Tikva took the lead in the 43rd minute when Manor Hassan rolled the ball under the Betar keeper. The hosts seemed to be on the way to a win, but 10 minutes from time, youngster Hen Azriel equalized for Jerusalem. The visitors continued to push forward and six minutes later scored the winner. Jermoe Leroy was brought down in the box and the penalty was converted by Tomer Ben-Yosef. Betar secured the win, but Frenchman Fabrice Fernandes was intent on ending the season on a sour note, receiving a red card in the last minute of the match for kicking out at a Hapoel player.