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Amos: The hard work starts now

    Star man: Danny Amos
    Star man: Danny Amos

    Hapoel Kiryat Shmona keeper Danny Amos has urged his teammates to keep their feet on the ground after they moved 12 points clear in Ligat Ha'Al with a 1-0 win over Maccabi Haifa.

    Amos, 25, denied Haifa with two outstanding saves before Barak Badash fired an 86th minute winner.

    "We didn't think about winning the title before the season started," said Amos.

    "We thought about equalling last season's fourth place, but after stringing together six wins in December we started believing the title is possible - although there is still a long way to go."

    Promoted in 2010, Hapoel have no internationals and cannot afford its quota of five overseas players. Amos is crucial to the side's success, having been beaten only 11 times in 24 games - half the number of goals conceded by nearest rivals Hapoel Tel Aviv.

    Amos was raised on nearby Kibbutz Kfar Blum. Born in South Africa, he was brought to Israel as a baby by his English father, Lindsay, and Zimbabwe-born mother, Debby.

    He said: "I grew up in a home where two languages were spoken - English and rugby." His older brother, Natan, fulfilled the family's love of rugby, and plays professionally in Germany – and is an Israel international.

    His younger brother, Micha, is a dancer with the Vertigo company. But Amos loved football and, aged 12, became a goalkeeper when the local team's regular stopper missed training.

    Until this season, he struggled to command a first team place. He said: "My recent marriage to Inbar has given me more peace of mind and I'm more focused on the pitch."

    Inevitably, the team will break up with manager Ran Ben Shimon linked with a move to Maccabi Haifa to replace Elisha Levy, while Amos is looking to Europe.

    Uncapped, holding a UK passport through his father means all doors are open for Amos. He said: "I'm interested in any good offers from Europe, but the ultimate ambition would be to play in the Premier League, the best league in the world."

    A lifelong Liverpool fan, Amos says he is "unlikely to say no to a good offer from England's lower divisions".

    But, for now, with 11 games remaining, he is concentrating on the league. The Toto Cup is already in the club's trophy cabinet and a remarkable domestic treble is still on.

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