#FM17 | Hapoel Hope 1.66 | No end?


‘There is no end, to a good thing, oh no’ according to the first line of a song by Israel Vibration. Well, seasons come to an end — as has my first season at Hapeol Ashkelon FC. But then another season comes along. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose, as the King James version of Ecclesiastes has it.

Most games, though, do have an end. Monopoly, backgammon, chess. Checkmate. But not FM. You have to decide your own aim and your own end point. Winning the top tier? The continental cup? The Club World Cup? Once — or more? Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

My primary aim isn’t winning trophies, though doing so along the way will probably prove necessary. My aim is to become the longest-serving manager. In the game of musical chairs known as the Israeli Premier League, the fact I’m still in post after a year means I’m already in with a shout. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

After what seemed a long season (though we played only 36 league matches) my wife and I have taken a holiday. No need to go anywhere. Ashkelon is a tourist destination. We take picnics in the national park, visit antiquities, and take a dip in the sea each evening.

A time to read and a time to think. A time to plan and a time to cast away tactical plans.

Soon the players will report back and I’ll be wondering who we’ll get in the Toto Cup.

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

Tough life managing Hapoel Ashkelon FC. Attribution: Lehava Center -Beer Sheva Pikiwiki Israel [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3APikiWiki_Israel_42892_Ashkelon.jpg