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Blackman targets Israel role

Nick Blackman is eager to play for Israel after scoring eight goals since joining Maccabi Tel Aviv on loan from Derby County.

    Blackman, 28, has a Jewish mother and he took Israeli citizenship so as not to be counted as part of the club’s quota of foreign players. The striker has been on loan at Maccabi since the beginning of the season.

    “I don’t know very much about the national team but playing for Israel would be something that really interests me,” said Blackman. “To represent a country like Israel would be a great honour for me.”

    Blackman made a slow start to his career in Israel and took five matches to score. But he has been in prolific form in recent weeks and is now Maccabi’s joint top-scorer alongside Icelandic international Vloar Kjartannson. His most recent goal came in the 2-1 win over leaders Beitar Jerusalem.

    Maccabi manager Jordi Cruyff said: “The Israel team needs someone like Nick. He is very strong, has a presence and it’s difficult to knock the ball off him.”

    Blackman is under contract with Derby until 2019 but Maccabi will be hoping to sign him permanently in the summer.

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