Europa League round-up

By Danny Caro, July 30, 2010

A first half strike from Vladimer Dvalishvili steered Maccabi Haifa past Dinamo Minsk in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

Maccabi Tel Aviv scored a crucial away goal in a 2-1 defeat against Olympiacos.

Haris Medunjanin gave the Israelis a shock 18th minute lead but the Greeks struck back with goals midway through the second half from Dennis Rommedahl and sub Jaouad Zairi turnings things around.

Both return legs are on August 5.


Eyal: Kayal is sure to be one of the Bhoys

By Simon Griver, July 30, 2010

Former Celtic star Eyal Berkovic has backed Biram Kayal to build a successful career at Celtic Park.

The 22-year-old Israeli flew to Glasgow earlier this week and has agreed a four-year deal worth £350,000 a year, subject to a medical and a work permit. Celtic will pay Maccabi Haifa £1.25 million for the defensive midfielder.

Berkovic said: "Biram will fit Celtic like a glove and be very suited to the game over there. He is a very gifted technical player but also a very aggressive player.


Celtic confirm Kayal signing

By Danny Caro, July 29, 2010

Celtic have unveiled Israeli Biram Kayal as their latest signing.

As we reported last Friday, the 22-year-old holding midfield joined on a four-year deal, subject to completion of final paperwork.

The midfielder becomes Neil Lennon's seventh signing of the close season, joining Efrain Juarez, Charlie Mulgrew, Cha Du-Ri, Joe Ledley, Daryl Murphy and Gary Hooper at Celtic Park.

He has already gained 13 caps for Israel.

Full details and interview in this week’s JC.


Fergie defends the Glazers

By Danny Caro, July 29, 2010

Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, has come to the defence of the Glazer family, insisting criticism of the club owners is unfair.

The Americans, who took full control of United in 2005, are unpopular with a large section of the Old Trafford faithful despite United being the number one football club in the world on the Forbes Rich List with an estimated value of £1.18billion. However, the debt is over £700million.


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.