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Ofir Haim: "Besides big games there are games I fell asleep in" | Israel today


The introduction of the coach to the youth team is as if taken from a movie • In a special interview he talks about the excitement for the Mondialeto and reveals what will happen with Oskar Gloch • Also: how he felt that his son, who is on the autistic spectrum, said he wanted to be a player like him

Last summer, Ofir Haim became one of the best coaches in Israel, after leading the youth team up to the age of 19 to an unusual achievement by qualifying for the final of the European Championship, where they lost to England only in overtime.

In a few months he will hope to sweep an entire country behind him again, this time in the Mondialeto to be held at the end of May in Indonesia.

Haim's success is nothing short of amazing.

Despite the failure in 2019 at Hapoel Tel Aviv, the coach, who has been through quite a bit in his personal life, was determined not to let it affect him and used it as motivation to advance his career.

He demands professionalism from his players, drives them crazy with motivational speeches, keeps in constant contact with them, and proves that you can also use humor and laughter to get the best out of them.

This may be the perfect formula for training and developing young players in the current generation.

"I've had butterflies from the World Cup for a long time, but even before that I had the elite phase of the 2004 yearbook," says Haim in a special interview with "Israel Today", and adds, "I can tell you that all my players want and are doing everything to become something in Israeli football , not everyone will succeed, but they do things beyond the groups as well."

Doesn't it worry you that most of them don't play regularly?

"The situation of many is not the best at the moment.

There are always those who fit into groups faster and those who don't.

For the World Cup I will need those who will be in the best shape and choose accordingly.

I won't take anyone who won't play at all.

I spoke to several players and recommended that they go out on loan to play elsewhere to gain minutes.

The fact that they train with adults and not youth is already an upgrade, because the pace is much higher."

No fear of playing in a Muslim country?

"The host must give us all the conditions so that we feel safe and can play.

They will probably place us in Bali, which is an amazing place and has fewer Muslims.

From what I understand, our home will be played there."

Which team will Oskar Gloch play for?

"We don't know yet, there's a lot to be done.

The World Cup is a tremendous achievement that I don't know if or when we will reach it again.

The priority over him is for the young team, but we have to see what is done, because no player wants to give up the Mondialeto;

Messi played there, Ronaldo, Maradona.

It's a blessing that two teams reached major tournaments, and there may be a division, because the goal is to succeed in both."


It is not yet known where he will play, photo: Esi Kiefer, the Football Association

We met Chaim last week at an event of the Shaar Shvyon association, where over 100 children on the autistic spectrum participated in a soccer tournament at Hapoel Tel Aviv's training complex.

His son, 21-year-old Or, is also on the autistic spectrum, and Chaim shares his feelings: "Today, awareness and inclusion is much greater.

20 years ago they would have been lost, today they have frameworks to do things and dream, and that is the most important thing there is.

I will never forget the first time he told me he wanted to be an actor like dad, these projects are blessed and exciting."

How about the three-header battle for the championship?

"HaPoel BS looks amazing, I haven't seen them like this in a long time.

Maccabi Tel Aviv has very high quality players, decisive players, but in my opinion it still won't be enough to take the title from Maccabi Haifa."

Haim at the "Equality Gate" event.

"Blessed Projects", photo: Courtesy of the "Shaar Shevion" association

Shino Zoertz wants to establish a reserve league, are you in favor?

"Sure, it's something that will play a role and can greatly help in the development of young players. The ages of 18-21 are very significant in terms of development, and if you don't play in those years - you're in trouble. The young people must have these minutes, just like abroad they have academies and teams up to the age of 23 ".

Would you like to go back to coaching teams?

"My head is currently only in the national team. I received several good offers from the Premier League, but only after the World Cup will we see what will happen. In any case, I will not join teams that come to pass the time and have no pretensions to be at the top."

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2023-01-12

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