#FM17 | Hapoel Hope 1.53 | Building Capacity


Avoidance of relegation provides an opportunity to approach Hapoel Ashkelon FC’s board for more resources. I ask them for permission to appoint an additional physio.

When they agree I appoint, with a minimum of fuss, Avi Bakhar. If my sources are to be believed, he brings with him skill in physiotherapy backed by great discipline and not a little determination.

There were other good candidates out there, but none who spoke Hebrew. Hebrew’s not an easy language to acquire and costs of language courses are prohibitive.

I have no regrets. Once Bakhar’s appointment is announced, our medical team is rated the best in the Premier League. That’s amazing for a club in its first year ever in that league.

I feel we’re on a roll. Good physios have made a major contribution to avoiding relegation and doing so has enabled us to invest further in physiotherapy. I like positive cycles.

Our scout, Gadi Carmeli, has left us to become Chief Scout at Premier League Hapoel Ra’anana. When I heard they were after him and told him that, though I appreciated that he’d make his own mind up, I was hoping he’d stay.

I can’t say I blame him though. It’s a great way to end his career. And I’m not sure how comfortable he felt, being a mere scout for a club that he’d once managed.

I hadn’t tried too hard to keep him. In a way, it’s flattering that other clubs want our staff. If we develop a reputation as a stepping-stone club, we might have to pay more to retain staff, but we’ll find it easier to recruit. In any case, I had a replacement lined up, one who will bring new knowledge to the club.

Welcome, Amir Naveh.