The initial request from Maccabi Netanya caught Bnei Lem about two and a half weeks ago on Lithuanian soil, before the concluding training session of the Maccabi Haifa youth team. It happened on the eve of the Youth Champions game against Zalgiris Vilnius and only one day after Netanya's 2-0 loss to Hapoel Hadera, at the end of which the fate of Raymond Atfeld as Netanya coach was decided. The Greens only landed in Vilnius and Lem received a phone call from a source in Netanya, who checked the sergeant's willingness to return home. Once it was decided that Atfeld would be fired, Lem was the leading candidate in terms of the club's two decision-makers - owner Eyal Segal and CEO Niv Goldstein. The
situation in Netanya after four rounds was difficult. , Which made the spirits even more intense.
Got okay right away.
Bnei Lem (Photo: Official website, from the Facebook page of Maccabi Netanya)
The veteran coach has been waiting a long time for such an offer.
Lem began his career in coaching somewhere in the mid-90s, with a brief episode in the alumni of Maccabi Netanya and later as the coach of Hapoel Taibe, in the media he also played a few years earlier.
After that, he coached the youth department of Betar Tobruk for a whole decade and from there he moved to Kfar Yona in the first division. To the youth team of Maccabi Haifa.
"My son was very confused during those two or three days," says one of the people close to Lem. the head".
Lem apparently felt that he had a great commitment to Maccabi Haifa and owner Yankele Shachar and was afraid at first to ask to leave, so that the request would not be translated or interpreted as a lack of appreciation for the Greens' embracing system.
He wanted to stay focused and Haifa did defeat the Lithuanians 0: 3 and created a big advance for itself towards the rematch.
This result only confused the coach even more and added more hesitation to him.
As soon as the request was received from Netanya, Lem did not hesitate and shared Yaakov Shachar.
It was important for him to be loyal to the Greens and to the club where he worked for the past two years.
Dawn, a veteran fighting fox, immediately realized that the meaning of the revelation is a whole seeking to leave.
There was no doubt that he would give the blessing of the road, which he did.
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A train that must be boarded
Lem, who celebrated his 62nd birthday this year, realized that at his age when they receive an offer to return to the Premier League, and more to his youth club, they are accepted.
Who knows if such an offer will arrive in the future.
An acquaintance of the coach described it well: "Sometimes, at a certain point in time, the train passes through the station and you have to decide whether to get on it or not, taking into account that it may not pass you again. There are young coaches like Barak Bachar who receive Maccabi Haifa at age 40. "That the opportunity does not fall to some even at much later ages. Therefore, my son had to take this offer, because who knows what would have happened if he had refused."
In Lem's environment, there are stories of some very difficult days of hesitation and thoughts he had regarding Netanya's proposal. Today he is one of the favorite football players in Israel, a coach who managed to raise a lot of young players here, won the championship with the youth of Maccabi Haifa and even achieved good results with Maccabi Netanya and the Israeli beach soccer team. Along with all this, Lem is well acquainted with the world of football and he also knows that some games are not successful and he too will lose his immunity in front of the Netanya crowd, who is thirsty for someone to save the team from its dilapidated situation. His biggest dilemma was the risk he was taking now, losing the consensus about it. There were already great symbols in Israeli football, whose audience turned upside down and made them the target of curses and insults.
Lem, they say, is very connected to his family and alongside his self-confidence in his success in the job, one of his biggest fears is that the pressure from football, noise and media echo that come with the job, in addition to the option of swearing and fan protests, will also push privacy.
In the last two years under his leadership, the Maccabi Haifa youth team has lost only two games, so the veteran coach is mostly used to being successful and smiling.
His experience is positive and happy, a rare commodity among Premier League coaches.
After a very large pressure was applied to him by all the people of Maccabi Netanya, he decided to say yes.
With the future in mind, he signed a three-year contract and insisted on inserting a special clause in it, according to which if he ends his role in the seniors, he will move to the club's youth team on the same contract and at the same salary.
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Must give added value.
Almog Cohen (Photo: Berni Ardov)
At least according to the opening data, it seems that the Netanya symbol is reaching a place tailored to its dimensions.
Not only does he know the city, the people in it and of course the club itself, but also the team structure, with one of the youngest staffs in the league, creates for him a very comfortable work environment.
Lem, who comes from an extensive career in youth departments, gets a faculty with an average age of 24.5.
Captain Almog Cohen, who is expected to be appointed next season and possibly during the current season as the club's professional manager, has of course also given the green light to the move and the two will now work collaboratively.
The captain is expected to continue playing in the near future, both because Netanya has a shortage of brakes and also so that the new coach will have another veteran player with experience.
Tomorrow, Lem will make his renewed debut in the Netanya uniform, with Maccabi Tel Aviv facing him. As a player, Lem has just been waiting for such games and it will be interesting to see how he performs now, with all the pressure and madness that will probably be in the stadium. "Go out on the field and have fun. There are fans out there waiting to see you, so get on the grass and do what you know," he used to tell his players, and he will probably do the same tonight.
Former player Oded Makhanes, who collaborated with Lem in the Netanya uniform in the 80s: "I must admit that my son did not spend much time in alumni training, to say whether he will be a successful coach or not. He was very successful in the youth departments where he worked and now he does not go It's not easy to be a good coach and a workman, you also have to be a psychologist, get to know the team, fit in with the team and the players have to be with you and it is definitely not easy. I do not know if my son is coming in a difficult time or not. Not good in the table, but the victory in Sakhnin gave a lot of air. "In these games. Everything he does will be a bonus for him."
Referring to the question of whether Lem is the right man for Netanya at the moment, Makhanes replied: "Once upon a time, it had to be reflected in the players, in the budget and I would say even in the coach. I do think that my son gets his chance at the right time and if he takes that chance, he will definitely be able to succeed."
It's time to prove it.
Bnei Lem in the farewell game from the box stadium, 2012 (Photo: Berni Ardov)
Makhans recalls his glory days with Lem, in that team of Netanya in the 80s: "My son was a winning player, he always wanted to win, he did not know what it was to lose and that is a very good feature. Now the question is, can he catch it Shmulik Perlman would leave him on the bench sometimes, to use him as a joker in the second half. I still remember how Yankele Grundman would teach my son to kick the False. My son was one of our most dominant players on the field, he had an amazing touch with the ball and great game vision. He also had a love of the game, he really loved football. One of the things that characterized Netanya of yesteryear was the pleasure, to come calm and not stressed. "This whole issue is of course a psychological act and I very much hope that my son will be able to pass it on to the players, who will also come without pressure.
Itzik Ovadia, the professional director of the youth department at Maccabi Haifa: "Lem is one whose whole day is around football. He is a man who constantly thinks about football and talks about football. He has apparently been in the profession for many, many years, To his credit, his passion is simply infinite. He knows how to acquire new knowledge and adapt while on the move, to football that is constantly changing, this is a trait that should be greatly appreciated, not at all obvious, certainly for my son. He manages to bring a lot of his personality "My son has been on the lines for many years, he knows a lot of situations during games and how to deal with them. He knew on the one hand to promote the youth team and on the other hand to promote individual players within the department."
Ovadia says of the timing of the Maccabi Netanya senior team: "He started a nice process in the Maccabi Haifa youth team, but this is the right time for him. He comes with a lot of desire, he comes ready, with a toolbox full of abilities. My son comes to the club where He's kind of a symbol and it gives you extra influence in front of everyone. It's obviously not something that lasts for long if you do not produce results, but his starting point is definitely good. I know he takes the job very seriously and will try to promote things in Netanya and I also believe it will work to him".