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"I scored, but dad was no longer in the stands. There was nowhere to run" - Voila! sport


Dealing at the age of 19 with the death of his father ("I lost my direction"), Grant's training ("We used to blow each other up") and the love for the Danish national team due to his mother's origin. Danny Niraon speaks

"I scored, but dad was no longer in the stands. There was nowhere to run"

Dealing at the age of 19 with the death of his father ("I lost my direction"), Grant's training ("We used to blow each other up") and the love for the Danish national team due to his mother's origin.

Danny Niraon, one of the prominent pioneers in the early 1990s, returns to the good days of Hapoel Petah Tikva

Asher Goldberg


Thursday, September 22, 2022, 4:39 p.m

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"In the 1990/91 season, in the championship of Maccabi Haifa, which was ahead of us by one point, we played against them four times. We beat them 1:2 with a goal from me from Yossi Shoshani's jump. On Monday, I enlisted in the IDF, all my photographers and newspaper reporters arrived at Tel Hashomer, the headlines were around The pictures of high army boots instead of football boots."

Then a shock - your father suddenly passes away.

"I was 19 years old when father died of a heart attack, it was a huge shock for the whole family.

After the end of the week, with a single training session, I started in the lineup against Hapoel Beer Sheva, which we beat 0:2.

I scored, I started to run, but I lost my direction, father was no longer there, I had nowhere to run, I was very painful and sad."

the beautiful days

Danny Niraon with Yossi Shoshani (Photo: Adi Avishi, Maariv)

The speaker is Danny Niraon, one of the prominent players of Hapoel Petah Tikva from the late 80's to the mid 90's.

Niraon was born in Israel on 1/24/1971.

For several years now he has been managing the spa at Yo Towers, the gym and the pool at the towers.

More than 30 years have passed since his father's death and the memory is still there.

"My father Jacob was a youth player in Hapoel Petah Tikva and one of the most enthusiastic and well-known fans of the team from Idan Stelmach, Wisokar, Koffman, Zachariah Ratsavi, Nahari and other legends of the championships. Father took me at a very young age to all the team's games, Hapoel Petah Tikva flowed and continues to this day in my body. At the age of 6, he brought me to the group of children who were two years older than me."

His first coach was Vladimir Norman, Boris's brother, a footballer and then an agent.

He calls Vladimir "a great and special person. He came from Russian sports and incorporated the subject of athletics into his training. He was followed by Gideon Marcus, whose team's offensive training was based on breaking through from the wings and raising balls to me in the center, which helped and paid off later in my career. In my youth, I was coached by Boris Norman , until I was promoted at the age of 16 and a half by Avraham Grant to the senior team."

Abba Yaakov was the central figure around football.

"I scored many goals in boys and youth, goals for dad in the stands. It gave me perfect satisfaction to see him jubilant."

Aggressive training.

Grant with Giora Spiegel (Photo: Flash 90, Moshe Shai)

As mentioned, in 1987/8 he went on the field for the first time in the senior team.

It was not easy for him to get minutes there.

"There was a very strong attack with senior striker Nir Levin and with Manny Besson, Doron Rabinzon who joined from Maccabi Petah Tikva and Rafi Cohen. We were good friends, we did everything for the success of the team."

Grant's training was aggressive?

"Unforgettable training that Grant encouraged. We would blow each other up, in preparation for the upcoming game on Saturday, to play men's soccer."

His first goal was scored in the Toto Cup against Bnei Yehuda, a strike from a pass by Oz Ilya.

He also played against Maccabi Netanya and came with the youth team to promote the World Championship in 1988 in Buenos Aires.

"The coach was Shlomo Sharaf. We flew to London, from there to Rio and Argentina. It was an amazing three weeks, with a large crowd in the stands. In the opening game we beat the Paraguayan team 0:1 with a goal from me after a pass from Benin. The second game was against Argentina at Wells Sarsfield. 35 thousand spectators in the stands, I remember Cholo Simeone, now the coach of Atlético Madrid, leading Argentina in a concrete tunnel. They stamped their shoes and made a scary noise. Tzachi Altit who was playing on the line got stones and ran into the middle. We lost 2:0, later we lost Peru 2:1 and we beat Venezuela 0:1. We beat Chile 0:3 with two goals from me and one from Shimi Jean. We didn't advance due to the loss to Argentina."

"We jumped over the fence."

Niraon Hayom (photo: courtesy of the photographer)

A book about the difficult assembly on the eve of the cup final against Maccabi Haifa in June 1991.

"Three days before the final we lost the championship title in a 0:0 draw against Maccabi Haifa with a illusory and puzzling two-goal disqualification. At the players' assembly on the eve of the match, Emmanuel Ofir gave a difficult speech - to show who the team is The best thing is to be aggressive on the field. Some of the players took things a little too far, the dismissal of Guy Gat at the start of the game by referee Ovadia Ben Yitzhak went against Hapoel Petah Tikva, Maccabi Haifa was lucky. We lost 3:1, and to this day the general feeling is that we could have To win a double then, or one title that would have brought more titles. I entered the game as a replacement for Manny Besson."

Redemption came a year later.

Maccabi Tel Aviv faced a double, but Alon Hazan led Hapoel Petah Tikva to a 1:3 victory in overtime.

"It was a final I saw from the bench. At the end of the game, Hazan took off for a vacation in the United States and when he landed, he joined Maccabi Haifa."

There were other days in football then, more amateurish.

"Indeed. We went to a Hapoel Petah Tikva training camp in France. The camps were not planned like they are today. We arrived at a hotel on the interior, and after a few hours we left for another hotel. We went to the training ground, but it was closed and locked. Grant asked us to grab onto the fence and go inside . In the middle of practice, the heads of the club, the owners of the field, came and kicked us out. Experiences of the past."

In 1993, with Hapoel he recorded a 0:5 victory in the Petach Tikva derby.

This defeat closed a circle for him.

"At the age of 9, my father took me to the derby between Hapoel and Maccabi Petah Tikva. Hapoel was defeated 5:1 and the game blew up. Nissim Cohen from Maccabi was like a Brazilian player, giving a football concert. I remember him passing the ball 5 times to Amos Karor between his legs, it hurt me and my father In the Ramat Gan derby in 1993, we beat them 0:5. I scored two goals, two by Son and one by Nir Levin. At the end, I felt self-satisfied because here I closed a circle that hurt me as a child in the stands."

Danny Niraon as a soldier with father Yaakov a few months before his death (photo: courtesy of the photographer)

Throughout his career, his mother's unique origin - Denmark - was mentioned.

He even has a season of games in the Danish league.

"I have a Danish passport. I went on loan for $25,000 to Widowbra, a club where goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel started and from there he moved to Brondby and continued to Manchester United. In the past it was a title-winning team, I scored 8 goals in the Danish league."

Did you like Danish football?

"Thanks to my mother's love for the football of her homeland, I am a fan of them and especially Farben Alkayer Larsen who played in Verona, the greatest Dane."

If we go back to the big stars of the era, he remembers a game in the early 1990s - Eindhoven with the great Romario in Bloomfield against a mixed team of Hapoel Petah Tikva and Maccabi Haifa.

"Jan Heinze, the Dane, played, and during the game I talked to him in Danish. I told him about my mother, and the next day he made sure to give me his game shirt, I keep it to this day."

You almost moved to Scotland.

"During the winter break in Denmark, agents arranged for me to try out with the Hibernian team. I stayed there for three weeks, hard training at a high pace. At the end of it, they decided to sign me, but due to problems with the sub-loan, the signing in Scotland was lost for nonsense. My wife at the time had a hard time with the cold and winter in Denmark, we returned to Israel".

In 1995, he came to Hapoel Haifa and played again under Grant - "My greatest coach, a man who knew how to get the most out of every player, through talks and training. For Grant, every player gave 100 percent of their ability. We finished in fourth place, and were in the round of 16 in the cup with a 1:0 loss to Maccabi Tel Aviv".

And if we are talking about Maccabi Tel Aviv and the cup match in Kiryat Eliezer, a few months before, in the same stadium Niraon witnessed a horrific spectacle - the injury of Alon Bromer ("you can't forget the sights on the lawn").

Then he moved to Hapoel Be'er Sheva of Gili Landau.

"She is remembered very well. It was in the era of Vasermil and the nervous fans. To see today Alona's Hapoel Beer Sheva at Turner Stadium, families happily coming to the stands, it does the heart good."

Did football help you financially?

"The salary, mainly at Hapoel Haifa and Hapoel Beer Sheva, was between 80 and 120 thousand dollars. It helped to buy an apartment or two back then."

In the 1999/2000 season, Niraon played for Zafarir Holon under Guy Levy.

"There was a close fight against Maccabi Kiryat Gat. Out of the 57 goals, I scored 23 goals, I was the top scorer. There was a big load on me, I was more in the air than on the grass, I suffered from cartilage wear, every two days I visited Dr. Mark Rosnovsky, who drained water from the knee and injected cortisone. I tried to continue, but at the age of only 28 I decided to retire from football."

A big future in the Premier League?

Omar Niraon (Photo: Ariel Shalom)

Your son Omar is the goalkeeper of Bnei Yehuda.

"Omar started playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Herzliya in the striker position, but was not good enough. He decided to become a goalkeeper. I believe he will be a good goalkeeper in the Premier League."

And finally, it is impossible to ignore today's verb Petach Tikva.

"When I see the name Hapoel Petah Tikva, it really is still a part of me, it is the team of my youth and my greatest love. A few years ago I was called from the youth training to coach the seniors. It was a financial season for Hapoel Petah Tikva. We lost to Hapoel Tel Aviv 7:1 and after ten Cycles I finished my job there."

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Source: walla

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