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Gutman given chance as Israel coach

Published: Tuesday 27 December 2011, 20.03CET
The Israel Football Association (IFA) have confirmed the appointment of former Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC trainer Eli Gutman as national team coach on a two-year contract.
Gutman given chance as Israel coach
Eli Gutman said it is a 'dream' to be given the Israel job ©Getty Images

Published: Tuesday 27 December 2011, 20.03CET

Gutman given chance as Israel coach

The Israel Football Association (IFA) have confirmed the appointment of former Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC trainer Eli Gutman as national team coach on a two-year contract.

Eli Gutman will lead Israel in their qualifying campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup after being unveiled as national team coach on a two-year deal.

I am fulfilling a dream, although it is only half a dream − the other half would be to complete qualification for the World Cup
Eli Gutman

The 53-year-old has replaced Luiz Fernández, whose contract with the Israel Football Association (IFA) was not renewed after his failure to qualify for UEFA EURO 2012.

Gutman's most recent job was with Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC, whom he left in May having won the league and cup double in 2009/10 and guided them into the UEFA Champions League group stage last season.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Gutman said: "I am fulfilling a dream, although it is only half a dream − the other half would be to complete qualification for the World Cup. Of course, that is a huge goal, but if we can achieve smaller goals along the way then maybe that will be possible."

IFA chairman Avi Luzon described Gutman as a "professional with an incredible tactical ability", adding: "From the bottom of my heart I believe that Eli will know how to drum faith into the players and lead us to success."

Gutman's first assignment is a friendly against UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts Ukraine on 29 February. Israel, whose only previous World Cup finals appearance was in 1970, face Portugal, Russia, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg in qualifying for the 2014 edition in Brazil.

Last updated: 08/05/14 9.26CET

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