The National League, the second league in Israel, produces quite a few dramas for us every week. Now, we at ONE have decided to delve deeper into the stories, dramas, joys and disappointments. Every week we will follow the things that need to be noticed, we will choose the man of the cycle and from the other side, the team or the players who need improvement.
The hero of the week is MS Kfar Qassem coach Shlomi Dora, who leads his team to first place in the table and achieved a convincing victory, 1: 3 over Hapoel Afula, while the loser in the game will be under a magnifying glass, when it is deep in the bottom cauldron. Dora, who has made good terms in the Premier League in the Hapoel Haifa and Hapoel Acre uniforms, has in recent years found himself a coach in the national league. But the season opener bodes well for him.
Shlomi, did you expect to open such a season?
“When I came to the club in February, the clear goal was to stay in the league. The team was in bad shape. We wanted to stabilize it first, because a club of this kind could suddenly crash and go back. The initial goal was really done. But we did it with very high success rates and it caused Let’s think a little bit in the summer. Understand that maybe instead of replacing 75 percent of the staff like every summer, we should think about the guys who did a good job. “The team to the top playoff team. We did not think about first places. We brought in national league players with a stamp like Yogev Lerman and Nir Dror.”
“We started the season well and saw that it connects well. We accumulated points and the team connected well. Everyone who came, joined the fabric of the locker room. The feedback from the management and the quiet I received is something not understood at all in football. ‘. Here give the quiet, let work. Go long term, so I want to believe. Let there be no situation that if there is one or two bad games then mushrooms will start to sprout like after the rain. We are in the right direction, we won the first place but we were in this area “From the beginning of the year. We talked in the summer that if we see in January that the team is strong in the picture of the rise, we will make some reinforcements. We are preparing some plans.
But you have experience in football, did you have a feeling you would be in these places?
“Listen. In the practice games we looked great and things connected. I did not say from the beginning that this is a team for places 1-4, but I knew for sure that it would speak loudly in the top playoffs. For your benefit. “
How is it maintained?
“This is the biggest problem of a football coach. Not to get to the top, but to keep it. Suddenly some players are in euphoria, the management, the fans. You have to keep your finger on the pulse all the time and not feel too good. Cause hunger and enjoyment. When it’s all connected and just need to know how to preserve it. The players already know my head, I know them one by one. It’s closer that the situation will continue like this than it will go to other places. It depends only on us “Mental struggle. Because professionally we look good. If we know how to overcome the mental place of a team that in life has not been in the first place and suddenly there are expectations from it, we will continue to the end.”
The table does not lie?
“No. Unequivocally no. I do not know if we are the best team in the league, but we are in first place by right and right. No one’s kindness.”
Let’s talk about you. People will come and ask: Where has Shlomi Dora gone?
“There is a kind of momentum in life that you need to know to ride, to know who will put you at the right time and in the right place. My peak momentum was that I left Hapoel Acre in the league against all odds and a season later I did not continue there due to management changes. In his worst period.A moment before dissolution, with such and such budgetary problems.This should have been my leap: to coach a team with a large audience, media, etc. In the eighth round it was over. . On the other hand, a failure in the eighth round? I do not call it a failure. That I got a chance at a club like Netanya but I did not get the credit to continue to get the team out of its situation. Overall the situation was not desperate. It was an eighth cycle, with minus points, we recovered and were a bit successful. We built a group from scratch. It was not a basis. “
“So, as someone who loves to work and breathe football, you tell yourself Arad to the National League for one year, you have a family to support, five kids. I did nothing but football right at that time. So you tell yourself I’ll go half a season here, half here. I went. To Hapoel Acre, I promoted them to a league, I thought it would be some kind of breakthrough again and again after five rounds I went. There was the Romanian professional manager. Things did not go my way properly. You could say I fall between the chairs. Since I became national league coach, But I tell you for sure that I can and should coach in the Premier League. “
Are you valued?
“I can not tell you. I think there are places yes but in most places I am completely underrated. I feel it. Maybe because I got the image of a typical national league coach. I look and see myself as coaches who talk about them in the media so and so and so. I say if they would come And see my training month and what I do, people would talk differently. I’m not telling you to come and see one training, because it’s a bluff. It’s knowing to run a locker room, to be in front of the media, in front of the owners, in front of an audience. Let’s say I feel I have upgraded myself in these things in recent years and it’s something that also comes with age. “Elisha Levy’s example: He accepted Maccabi Haifa at the age of 50 as his first top team. So I do not say desperate.”
Do you hurt the condition of the coaches? Yuval Naim said here in an interview a week ago that the coaches went bankrupt.
“Absolutely. There are a lot of coaches who brought the coaching staff to this situation. If there were another 10-15 coaches like Yuval Naim who know how to stand on their own and not take anything for granted or lower the coaching status financially and professionally to the situation he got to, the coaching situation would look different “Yuval is right in what he said, especially in the national league. In the Premier League, they may maintain some level, but in the national league it is catastrophic.”
So what are the immediate goals of Shlomi Dora?
“The pink or wet dream, call it whatever you want, that we face to the end and also manage to come up. Do something that will not be a one-time opera. Let us work and enjoy and succeed in our work. A word comes to my team: Assistant coach Lior Cohen, goalkeeping coach C. “Nya Doniev, Basel Amer, the fitness coach. The team also has an excellent connection and it radiates to the entire club.”
On the other hand, the group that surrendered to Dora and his trainees is Afula. The club, which recently appointed Eldad Shavit as coach, managed to accumulate a 0: 1 victory over Hapoel Kfar Saba from the top, but since then a series of losses and on Friday expects the team to play for six points against Hapoel Raanana.
Afula refused to be interviewed before the game and clarified that they are concentrating on the match on Friday, when the attempt to talk to any owner also came to naught, partly because there does not seem to be one for the team. In any case, we did not give up and tried to go into the depths of interest to answer the burning question: Who is the strongest man in Hapoel Afula?
The inquiries led us To Shlomi Elbaz, Who serves as a kind of chairman, so we heard, but from a short conversation with him it turns out that he holds a different position at all, this is what Shlomi told us: You can also ask me about the basketball team and call me chairman, depending on how you look at it. ”
So we were not so able to understand. Maybe Shashi Yaakov, Who until a few years ago was the almighty man in the club, will give us a hand. “I think not only this year, you can say the last two years the team is unstable. In my opinion, the staff structure is not right,” says Yaakov. “I do not know who deals with the team on a daily basis. There are good people I know, An air train of management changes and that hurts the team. There is no really directed and painful hand. This is a team with potential, the capital of the valley. In the years we managed there we reached significant achievements in Israeli football. I see the results of the day and I do not see the continuity of what we did. “
What would you change there?
“First of all, from it a permanent chairman. management board. People who understand football and not people who come from other worlds. Builds staff for the team in a different way. I would collaborate with several teams in the Premier League and not just with Maccabi Haifa. The cooperation with Maccabi Haifa is actually the only bright spot today. But it’s something that can help if done right. You can not bring an entire skeleton of a team made up of young players, something like eight or nine. They took players from the youth of Maccabi Haifa and also the players who came from outside were not mature or mature enough. We always need two or three senior players who have stabilized the system, both professionally and mentally. “
Can the team stay in the league?
“With the right reinforcement in January, I think so. The team is important to me personally and also to the valley and the north in particular. It is very important to the north that Afula be at least in the national league, there is no reason not to.
1. Nir Berkowitz – After a season opener that included three games without a win, the young coach was close to a few minutes from qualifying for first place with his team Nes Ziona, as he records a balance of 16 points out of 24 possible in the last eight games.
2. Iyad Hotba – At the age of 34, after years in the uniform of my brother Nazareth, the season has passed to play in the uniform of the newcomer Bnei Reina and as a defender who has already scored two goals in the last two rounds.
3. Peter Olawella – After seven league goals in half a season last year in the Hapoel Raanana uniform, the Nigerian nicknamed “Little Ronaldo” and even returned by Hapoel BS, fails to meet expectations this year and scored only one league goal. Not surprisingly, his team is entangled deep at the bottom.
4. Lishe Bitton – who made the long journey with Adumim Ashdod from the third division to the national league and in his debut season in the second division, at the age of 31, he is already recording no less than two goals when he has not yet passed even one round.
5. The crisis of Hapoel Kafas – After a successful season opener, Uri Gutman’s team has already recorded three consecutive games without a win. Football has not been particularly impressive since the beginning of the season, but if the victories do not return, it is not at all certain that the coach, who signed for two years, will last a long time with the Garlic, who have shown in the past that they do not hesitate to make changes.
6. Miko Maman The striker, who started the season at Maccabi Petah Tikva and did not receive credit from the Luzons, returned to the national league that is well known to him and has already scored four goals in just over two months.
7. The recovery journey of Bnei Yehuda – After a terrible season opener and criticism, she has already accumulated ten points out of the last twelve and is already five points away from the place from which they qualify back to the senior league.