Hapoel Umm el-Fahm
Before discussing the summer, I want to look at our season with Hapoel Umm el-Fahm – predicted 12th before the season started, we made just a couple of signings over the course of the year, finishing second and gaining promotion was a brilliant season. Although it felt less joyful than it perhaps should have as we missed out on the title on the final day, having had time to think about it after, in terms of the journeyman save especially, it couldn’t have gone much better. From 5% reputation to 20% in just one year opens up so much potential for the save, only one coaching course done also, so plenty more to increase just by completing those.
We won manager of the year in the Israeli National League, sadly no rep boost came with that but a nice achievement to add to the CV still.
In terms of players, we always looked top heavy from the moment we came in. Kualia up top for us was going to pivotal in any success we had, and wide-men Ganon and Joof stood out all season. Kutalia ended the season with 22 goals in the league and 4 assists, Ganon and Joof shared the most assists with 12 each in the league, Ganon scored 12 also and picked up the highest average rating in the squad throughout with a 7.34.
Where to start with Gaira Joof, at just 22-years-old, for me, he’s been the star man and I feel he needs mentioning on his own. Not only did he contribute the same number of assists in the league as Ganon (12) he chipped in with 17 goals as well. The youngest of the front 3 had more goal contributions than his fellow attackers. It was the way he played in the match engine that made him feel that more special, I’m sure you’ll all know the type I mean, the ability to do something that no one else could on the pitch, giving him a certain X factor.
The Job Search
I started looking and applying for jobs pretty much as soon as the season ended. Anything between 2 and 2.5 stars seemed a good move. Some obscure places like Austria, Czech, Serbia and Bulgaria all had jobs available.
It then struck me that towards the end of June we’d finish our second coaching course, hopefully bumping us to 25% rep. I was unsure before that how likely we were to gain any interest but nevertheless persisted with applying for just about anywhere.
Early on I was slightly concerned. We applied for a job in the second tier of Belgian, a 2 star team which was somewhere I felt would more likely offer an interview than anywhere else and we didn’t make the shortlist. This was before the second coaching course was complete, but definitely caused some concern.
After much searching and indeed gaining another 5% rep from our latest coaching qualification, it was clear that the right opportunity wasn’t coming. We didn’t get a single interview over the course of the summer. Plus, Fahm received a million pounds for their promotion on top of some new sponsorship deals, leaving us with a healthy 750k bank balance, any new club we went to would likely have nowhere near the level of income Fahm do.
So with that in mind and another coaching course request accepted, I agreed a 2 year deal to remain at Fahm. I think maybe it’ll just be this one year, while we try and get as many coaching qualifications done but that’s the offer I’ve accepted.
UP NEXT… TRANSFERS AND PRE-SEASON