#FM17 | Hapoel Hope 1.59 | A little Scandinavian jazz


Last weekend Karen went to a concert in Tel-Aviv. It meant I had a day to myself. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

I bought in supplies: Lebanese coffee; A3 paper, which I find good for planning purposes; and a Nicaraguan cigars to smoke on the balcony. I don’t often smoke, but I find the occasional cigar conducive to contemplation.

It’s a mild day, so I roll back the balcony door, to let in the air, set up a playlist (Bo Kaspers Orkester), brew a pot of the coffee, and settle down at the breakfast table to think.

The question I need to decide is, how are we going to develop this club in the long-term? My no. 1 football hero, Dario Gradi, would surely say, ‘Youth’. Which is what he did at Crewe, with great effectiveness.

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to go down that route, but I decide to write down all the reasons, just to check that the rationale’s as strong as I feel it is. Here’s the list that I wrote:

  1. We have only basic junior coaching in place.
  2. Our youth recruitment is average at best.
  3. Our youth training facilities are below average.
  4. Except for the Head of Youth Development, we have no U19 staff.
  5. Putting all the above right will take a very long time…
  6. And cost a lot of money.
  7. It doesn’t excite me.

But if that’s not going to be the strategy, what is?

Time for the first cigar.