Michael Valkanis has become the first Greek Australian coach of an Israeli Premier League side Hapoel Tel Aviv FC.
The former Adelaide United defender and Melbourne City head coach is now tasked with awakening a sleeping giant of Israeli football.
According to KEEPUP, Hapoel has won 13 Israel Premier League titles, but their last victory was 13 years ago. Their last season resulted in a 10th-placed finish in the 14-team competition.
The Tel Aviv-based side have also competed in the UEFA Champions League and celebrated European wins over Chelsea, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic.
Valkanis told KEEPUP that his vision is for the club to one day “be up there competing with arch-rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv, playing the sort of football that will excite our fans.”
“I see a team that’s attacking, brave and a team that makes a supporter base really proud and they work really hard,” Valkanis said.
“Hapoel means the working and there’s only one thing, we need to work, work, work, run, run, run, play football, attack, be a team all as one.”