Football

Keinan set to be Blackpool's rock

By Simon Griver, July 15, 2010

Maccabi Haifa defender Dekel Keinan is set to clinch a dream move to the Premier League after agreeing a one-year deal with Blackpool.

Israeli international Keinan, 25 met Blackpool manager Ian Holloway last weekend before returning to Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra in northern Israel. He went back to Blackpool to undergo a medical before travelling with the team for their pre-season training camp in Ireland.

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Five-star Hapoel hammer Bosnians

By Simon Griver, July 14, 2010

Hapoel Tel Aviv moved a step closer to the group stages of the UEFA Champions League after thumping Bosnian champions FK Zeljeznicar 5-0 in the second qualifying round first leg at Bloomfield Stadium on Tuesday.

All the goals came in the first half as striker Ma'aran Lala grabbing a hat-trick. New signing Yossi Shivhon, who recently joined from Maccabi Tel Aviv, claimed a debut goal and an own goal from Mirsad Beslija completing the rout.

It should have been 6-0 but Walid Badir, the former Wimbledon player, missed a penalty in a match dominated by the home side.

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Benayoun: Benitez forced me out

By Danny Caro, July 12, 2010

Yossi Benayoun has revealed that former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez to be the reason behind his departure from Liverpool to Chelsea., accusing the Spaniard of trying to break him and treating him with disrespect.

In an interview with the News of The World, Benayoun said: " Everyone asks me why I left Liverpool. There is only one reason - Rafa Benitez. I agreed to join Chelsea before Roy Hodgson was appointed Liverpool's new manager.”

“I made up my mind to leave a long time ago as he never treated me with the respect I deserved. If I played well, I never felt he gave me credit."

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Keinan agrees Blackpool move

By Simon Griver, July 12, 2010

Maccabi Haifa defender Dekel Keinan has agreed a one-year deal with Premier League new boys Blackpool.

Israeli international Keinan, 25 met Blackpool manager Ian Holloway on Saturday and agreed terms for the season.

Keinan has returned home to Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra in northern Israel and will travel to Blackpool on Wednesday to undergo a medical and sign a contract.

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Benayoun is Israel's most expensive player ever

By Danny Caro and Simon Griver, July 8, 2010

Yossi Benayoun has become the most expensive ever Israeli player after moving from Liverpool to Chelsea.

The £6.5m transfer fee surpasses the £5.75 million that Celtic paid West Ham for Eyal Berkovic in 1999.

As we reported on June 14, the move was authorised by former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez and rubber-stamped by new boss Roy Hodgson.

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Smith joins LA Galaxy

By Danny Caro, July 8, 2010

Scott Smith hopes to follow in the footsteps of David Beckham after scoring twice on his debut as a striker for the LA Galaxy Under 20 team.

Smith, 19, was selected for a trial at the end of last year after impressing in the youth team at Barnet. From a pool of around 1,600 footballers, Smith, the son of football agent Jon Smith, went on to make the final cut of 26.

Smith said: "The standard is really good but the problem has really been the heat which is quite intense and the length of the trials which ran for almost a month.

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Arsenal star impressed by Avram Grant

By Andrew Pentol, July 8, 2010

Former Arsenal star Brendon Batson has praised incoming West Ham boss Avram Grant. He also backed new Chelsea signing Yossi Benayoun to shine at Stamford Bridge after the midfielder completed his move from Liverpool last week.

Batson said: "There have always been Jewish players giving their best week in, week out, but in terms of managers, Avram Grant is well respected and has performed at a high level off the pitch."

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Israel youth player joins Scots

By Danny Caro, July 8, 2010

Football Gil Blumenshtein has joined Scottish Premier Division Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Blumenshtein, a former Israel youth international midfielder, was signed by manager Terry Butcher, the former England defender, from Hapoel Beer Sheva on a one-year contract.

Blumenshtein said: "Terry is a very good coach and manager. I think that I can learn a lot from him."

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Awat considers WBA approach

By Simon Griver, July 7, 2010

West Bromwich Albion have reportedly made a bid to sign Israeli international keeper Dudu Awat.

The newly promoted Premier League outfit are seeking a goalkeeper to challenge Scott Carson for the first team place and have approached Awat’s team Real Mallorca.

Awat would prefer to stay in Spain where he had his best ever season last year after joining Mallorca from Deportivo La Corunna. He helped the Islanders to a fifth place La Liga finish and the team was only pipped at the post to a Champions League place by Sevilla on the last day of the season.

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Barcelona release Gai Assulin

By Simon Griver, July 6, 2010

Barcelona have released Israeli starlet Gai Assulin.

Assulin, 19, saw his contract expire on July 1 and leaves Camp Nou after seven years rising through the ranks of the Catalan club.

The player's agent Pini Zahavi said: “The decision not to renew Gai’s contract was mutually taken by us and the club. At the moment we are considering his professional options.”

Assulin said: “I believe in myself and I’m confident I'll find a good club.”

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