Hapoel pays the penalty in Champions League first leg

By Danny Caro, July 29, 2010

Hapoel Tel Aviv must overturn a one-goal deficit in Israel next Tuesday if they are to keep alive their hopes of reaching the group stages of the Champions League.

A second half penalty from Aktobe skipper Samat Smakov gave the hosts a narrow advantage from Wednesday’s third qualifying first leg in Kazakhstan.

The Israeli champions featured keeper Vincent Enyeama, who represented Nigeria at last month's World Cup, while Ben Sahar, the former Chelsea striker who recently joined on a 12-month loan from Espanyol, came on in the second half.


Manchester Maccabi in pre-season opener

By Danny Caro, July 28, 2010

A Manchester Maccabi Select XI started their pre-season programme against semi-pro outfit Flixton at Brooklands.

In a game broken into three periods of 30 minutes, Flixton featured 14 members of their 18-man squad along with several trialists.

The first period finished 1-1 with Maccabi’s Marc Woolfe exchanging goals with Flixton’s Jed Williams. Flixton went on to win the second and third period by 1-0 scorelines.


Mixed fortunes for Israeli clubs in Europa League

By Danny Caro, July 23, 2010

Maccabi Tel Aviv will Olympiakos in the third round qualifying round of the Europa League.

They squeezed through 3-2 on aggregate despite suffering a 2-1 defeat against Mogren on Thursday night.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg, Haris Medunjanin claimed a crucial away goal for Maccabi, finding the net in the seventh minute and although a second half double from captain Vladimir Gluscevic have Mogren a win on the night, it was Maccabi who went through.


Kayal agrees to Celtic move

By Danny Caro, July 23, 2010

Maccabi Haifa midfielder Biram Kayal has agreed a five year deal with Scottish giants Celtic.

The 22-year-old Israeli international is expected to fly over to Glasgow for a medical in the coming few days.

Peter Lawwel, Celtic’s chief executive, is reportedly in Israel and has discussed the deal with Maccabi president Jacob Shahar. The clubs are close to agreeing a fee in the region of £1.25m. Kayal is set to earn £350,000 in his first year at Parkhead with the option of an improved salary if he impresses.


Keinan joins Blackpool

By Danny Caro, July 23, 2010

Dekel Keinan has signed a two-year deal with Premier League new boys Blackpool – as we told you on July 12.

The deal was confirmed after the Israeli defender was awarded his UK work permit on appeal yesterday.


Barnet coach Michael Stone: Q&A

By Danny Caro, July 23, 2010

Sir Trevor Brooking's call for the FA to nurture more home-grown coaches was music to the ears of Barnet's Michael Stone.

Reviewing England's World Cup campaign, the FA's Director of Football Development has been quick to call for more English faces to rise through the ranks. And at 31, Stone fits the bill.

Recently appointed coach at League 2 Barnet, Stone, one of the most highly rated trainers in the country, has been charged with extra responsibility for individual player development.


Hapoel on course in Europe

By Simon Griver, July 22, 2010

Hapoel Tel Aviv remain on course to reach the group stage of the Champions League after being drawn against Aktobe in the third qualifying round.

Leading 5-0 from the second qualifying round first leg, the Israeli champions completed an aggregate win against Željezniar in Sarajevo on Wednesday night.

Hapoel will be strong favourites to reach the playoff round but they will be wary of Aktobe who, after a goalless first leg against Maccabi Haifa, led 3-0 in Israel before Haifa scored four times in the same round last year.


Ridder hope

July 22, 2010

Wigan midfielder Daniel De Ridder has reiterated his desire to stay in the Premier League. The Dutchman was loaned to Hapoel Tel Aviv for part of last season, helping them win Ligat Ha'al, but having entered the final year of his contract, he hopes to impress manager Roberto Martinez during a four-day training camp in Sweden.

Gai Assulin is undergoing a week-long trial at Blackburn Rovers.


Ben Haim set to join West Ham

By Danny Caro, July 19, 2010

West Ham manager Avram Grant has been reunited with Israeli defender Tal Ben Haim after agreeing to sign him from former club Portsmouth.

The Hammers agreed a deal with the cash-strapped club, relegated from the Premier League last season, after agreeing a compromise on Ben Haim's wages.

West Ham originally offered £30,000 a week, around £8,000 a week short of what the Ben Haim was earning at Portsmouth but they have improved their offer.


Bnei Yehuda drawn to face Juventus

By Simon Griver, July 16, 2010

Bnei Yehuda have been drawn to face Juventus in the third qualifying round of the Europa League if the Israelis can overcome Shamrock Rovers in Tel Aviv next Thursday.

Managed by Dror Kashtan, the former Israel manager, Yehuda go into next week's tie deadlocked at 1-1. Omri Afek put the Israelis ahead in the 26th minute in Dublin last night but a stoppage time strike from Robert Bayly drew the Irish club level.

With the away goal advantage Yehuda will be confident of hosting the Italian giants on July 29 with the return in Italy on August 5.