"Few people know that I, Eli Doan, who was a well-known and beloved soccer player in the national league in Maccabi Ramat Amidar and Samson Tel Aviv, today lives on 2,000 shekels a month from the National Insurance. I, who was a star in soccer, was left with nothing. I can't tell you how hard it is for me. There is I have an eye injury that requires an injection once a month and medication that costs about NIS 900. I'm not hungry, and I still have a little savings other than soccer that I save for a black day. I help my two sisters and their children for Friday-Saturday meals and the holidays. If I have employment and work I can do , I will receive her with love."
A shocking life story.
Eli Doan (Photo: Courtesy of the photographer)
Eli Doan will celebrate his 66th birthday on Sunday.
He was born in Israel to parents who immigrated from Tripoli and has two sisters and two brothers.
The family lived in the Neve Yehoshua neighborhood in Ramat Amidar.
His life was not a bed of roses from a very young age.
"I was 3 or 4 years old when my father fell on his back, he was hospitalized in a hospital in Petah Tikva. I remember myself as a small child walking from Ramat Amidar with my mother to visit him. There was no money to travel by bus. My father passed away there years later and I was an old man. I remember a lot with him from my childhood. My mother Sofia never remarried, she worked at the Ramat Gan municipality. She would get up at four in the morning and work besides the municipality in housekeeping and as a laundress. Today I live in my late mother's house on Jordan Street."
His romance with the ball began like everyone else's - on the street.
"I was a ball boy. Except when sleeping, the ball was close to me everywhere, I would go with the bounces. I had a high athletic ability, I walked on my hands for a distance of 500 meters or more. I excelled in basketball, table tennis and all branches of the ball. Wrestling champion Gad Zuberi He tried to add me to the field, but football was my great love."
At the age of 10, he met the late Avi Cohen at neighborhood games. "In the sixties, it was customary to hold neighborhood games at the Ramat Chen football field.
I played against my father as a son from the Selma C neighborhood and other neighborhood teams in the area.
Thanks to that, I got to Maccabi Tel Aviv, but I stopped because then I didn't have the money to take several buses to training sessions and Saturday morning games."
His natural choice was Maccabi Ramat Amidar.
"I reached out to coach Reuven Cohen, the former striker of Hapoel Ramat Gan. I played a little for the boys, Cohen promoted me to the youth team and I played a little there as well."
And then Asher Blot raises you to the senior group.
"Ramat Amider played in 1972 in League A, the second league. Belot promoted me at the age of 15 and a half to the seniors and I managed to play one season alongside the late Vicky Peretz, after which he was purchased by Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Amidar had a good team that was suitable for promotion to the national league."
Amidar's field had a decline and an increase. What was it like to play football on it?
"I didn't particularly feel the decline, or the increase.
I liked playing in the field more with the elevation, because the teams play more open on it, the defense is more open, and for me as an attacking midfielder it was easier to play."
In the 1974/75 season Doan was a partner in the qualification of Amidar to the National League.
"It was a big season and a three-way battle in League A South with Hapoel Yehud and Rishon Lezion. We were ahead of Yehud by one point. Shlomo Peltz was the man who helped go up with 15 goals."
Who is Amidar's Roger Moore?
"Amidar had one of the greatest defenders in Israeli football, the late Moshe Rosner, whom I grew up with as a teenager and played with.
He was blond, tall and resembled the then revered movie star Roger Moore.
Rosner was the symbol and leader of Maccabi Amidar."
Moshe Rosner, the Israeli "Roger Moore".
He completed his military service in Ramat Gan.
Then he received an offer from Maccabi Tel Aviv, he already had an agreement and a contract with the manager Haim "Leivo" Leibovich.
"The managers of Maccabi Tel Aviv followed me in most of the games, I had a closed agreement. They wanted me after Vicky Peretz came to them, I saw a dream that was about to come true, but the negotiations with the managers of Amidar did not end positively.
This is perhaps the biggest sporting miss of my career, Maccabi Tel Aviv was like Real Madrid at the time."
Amidar returned to League A after only one season at Laomit. "We reached the league where the big names played - Vicky Peretz, Avi Cohen, Shalom Avitan, Oded Mekens, David Lavi, Romano and Demati.
The leaders of Ramat Amidar brought in a medium-sized purchase, instead of adding three senior players.
We dropped from last place together with Bnei Yehuda and Hapoel Hadera."
Fans came to your mother's house, shoved dollar bills at her?
"I was the next thing in the team. Vicky Peretz told me that before the game against us, the tactic was how to shut me down and then our game was over. There was no money in the club, capable fans would come to my mother's house and push her 100 or 200 dollar bills, and mother She didn't understand what this thing was."
managed to make the path Duane dreamed of.
Vicky Peretz (Photo: Flash 90, Moshe Shai)
In 1978/9, Amidar returned to the top league ("an excellent offensive season of ours, we finished in second place and moved up from the national level along with Ramat Gan and Hapoel Petah Tikva"), and the following season began a journey that almost ended with winning the cup.
"We finished in 11th place in the struggle for survival. In this cup, it was not an easy journey to the final. We beat Hapoel Haifa in the eighth in penalties after extra time. We beat Maccabi Haifa in the quarter 0:1 and in the semi-finals a dramatic victory in extra time and penalties over Beitar Jerusalem, 3: 4.
In penalties I advised our goalkeeper Shlomo Nordman not to jump and take a corner as usual.
I told him to keep his eyes on the ball.
Nordman stopped three penalties that advanced us to the cup final in Ramat Gan against Hapoel Kfar Saba." In the final, Amidar was defeated 4:1.
A year later, Amidar reached the semi-finals and was defeated 1:0 by Hapoel Tel Aviv.
In the same season, it was relegated again, but Doan remembers one league game against the same Hapoel Tel Aviv that ended in a strange way.
"In the 90th minute, I broke through on my own against Bejarno, passed him and before I kicked into the open net, the final whistle sounded. The game ended 0:0."
And here we return to the economic aspect.
Did you manage in Ramat Amidar?
"I received literally pennies, we always claimed that there was no money in the club. At the salary meetings they told me that I would receive so and so, without signed contracts. Financially, I did not see anything from Amidar. Players like Arie Mizrahi who moved to Maccabi Tel Aviv and others made the right moves. The headlines in the sports newspapers blinded me, I thought football was for winning. I made a mistake when I left Amidar for small teams like Maccabi Yavne and Samson Tel Aviv. It's like moving from the transition to the crowded housing estates. A title like 'Duane drove Lod crazy' or 'Duane the next thing of Amidar' I felt that all the people of Israel were calling,
Maccabi Ramat Amidar in the 1970s.
Eli Doan is kneeling fourth from the left
As Doan himself said, Ramat Amidar was not the only stop in his career.
"They owed me money and they didn't pay me. There were problems with the management, who told me to get the player's card for me, to waive the financial debt. I moved first to Maccabi Yavne, and from there to Samson Tel Aviv on a long-term contract."
What happened in Samson Tel Aviv?
"After a season and a half, without my knowledge and request, my player card was transferred to the Beitar Ramla team, under the wonderful coach Mickey Sheinfeld, the former goalkeeper of Hapoel Petah Tikva.
Sheinfeld was a great coach, a wonderful person, it's a shame that his skills were not used in the big clubs."
The united team of Amidar and Hech Ramat Gan disappeared from the landscape. "I knew that the union would not succeed.
In general, where there is no big money there is no existence.
The lot with the descent still exists, it seems that residential towers will be built on it.
There are endless historical stories in the field, until it's all over."
Duane with another former footballer of the team Leon Konstantinovsky, who passed away in October 2021
you are not married
Does it hurt to be alone?
"In the mid-eighties I met a Dutch girl named Elizabeth, I fell in love with her, I left an Israeli girl I was dating. I married her and we lived alternately in Israel and the Netherlands. Elizabeth was unable to have children with me, the marriage fell apart, the Israeli mentality prevailed the day we divorced, I returned home to Ramat Amidar. I did not marry Again, I didn't start a family. I'm sad, because everyone wants a relationship, to love and be loved. As time went by, I got older and the desire to get married passed, I also finished football and retired close to the age of 30. Today, looking back, I regret that I didn't invest in studies like My friends and my behavior in general."