After my first season in charge of Hapoel Ashkelon FC I decided that the strategy for club development would be ‘buy-low and retain’ (BLR). After a year, how has that strategy fared?
Pretty-well, I think. We’ve had some notable success with players we’ve bought under that rubric. Examples include:
|Name||Position||Age now||League apps 2017-18||Average rating|
All the above arrived on frees except Gamun, for whom we paid £26k. I hope they will provide a nucleus for years to come.
The disappointment has been Daniel Twizer (CB; 22: he did well (13 apps @ 7.00) but threw a wobbly when we offered him a new contract, so we had to sell him.
At least we made an £18k profit.
This year I’ve brought in some more low-cost, up-and-coming players – this time mostly in attacking areas rather than defence. They include Nir Ohana (17; shadow striker, free), Yuval Swisa (19, shadow striker; free) and Elias Gonzales (20; LM/AM(L); AM(C); free).
By the end of the coming season, three of our squad will have turned 32. It may be time to say farewell; but if can keep bringing in three or four low-cost youngsters, I reckon we’ll have a sustainable conveyor-belt approach to squad development.
PS On a non-strategic note, we’ve made a one-off appointment to our backroom staff. The Israeli government has introduced a subsidised employment scheme. I forget the name in Hebrew but it translates as something like ‘Giving a break to someone with limited prospects and a dodgy past’. We’ve been pleased to use the scheme to hire a new kit man called Sam Latham.