Ya'akov Grundman

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Ya'akov "Yankela" Grundman
יעקב "יענקל'ה" גרונדמן
Personal information
Full name Ya'akov "Yankeleh" Grundman
יעקב גרונדמן
Date of birth (1939-07-20)20 July 1939
Place of birth Poland
Date of death 24 May 2004(2004-05-24) (aged 64)
Place of death Israel
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Bnei Yehuda
National team
1961–1964 Israel 8 (0)
Teams managed
Maccabi Tel Aviv
Hapoel Haifa
Maccabi Netanya
Bnei Yehuda
Hapoel Tel Aviv
Hapoel Beersheba
Shimshon Tel Aviv
1988–1992 Israel
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only. † Appearances (Goals).

Ya'akov "Yankela" Grundman (Hebrew: יעקב "יענקל'ה" גרונדמן‎; 20 July 1939 – 24 May 2004) was a Polish-born Israeli professional football player and manager.[1]

Early life[edit]

Grundman was born in Poland before the outbreak of World War II.[2] After the Nazi invasion of Poland, Grundman's family went into hiding.[2] They were taken in by a Polish farmer in Proszowice who let them stay in a two metre by two metre ditch.[2] Grundman spent three years hiding in the ditch. Many times going weeks at a time before getting something to eat.[2]

At the end of the war, Grundman's father returned to work in the flour business and owned a small bakery.[2] The Grundman's shared profits with the Polish farmer and before making aliyah to Israel, they gave him their business and two houses.[2] Upon arrival to Israel, the family settled in the Hatikva Quarter of Tel Aviv.[3]

Playing career[edit]

Growing up in Hatikva Quarter, Grundman joined the local side, Bnei Yehuda.[3] Being the only Ashkenazi Jew in the squad, Grundman was nicknamed "The Pole."[3] Grundman was part of the squad as they achieved promotion for the first time to the Liga Leumit in 1959.[3]

As manager[edit]

After retiring as a player, Grundman began a career as a manager, winning the double with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 1977, as well the Israeli league in 1980 with Maccabi Netanya and the State Cup with Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv in 1968, and with Hapoel Haifa in 1974. The peak of his managerial career was when ha, alongside Itzhak Schneor had jointly coached Israel between 1988 and 1992, and were one goal short of qualifying for the 1990 world cup.

Later life and death[edit]

Grundman spent years in the hospital fighting cancer. In 2004, IFA chairman, Itche Menahem presented him with the FIFA Order of Merit.[3] Grundman passed the next day.[3] Before the funeral, his coffin was brought to Ramat Gan Stadium so that the public could pay their respects.[3] On 27 March 2004, three days after Grundman's death, the Israeli national team held a moment of silence for Yankeleh before their friendly match against Georgia in Tbilisi.[4]

Playing honours[edit]


Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv

Managerial honours[edit]


Hapoel Haifa
Maccabi Tel Aviv
Maccabi Netanya
Shimshon Tel Aviv



  1. ^ Bartel, Liran (25 May 2004). יעקב גרונדמן הובא היום למנוחות [Ya'akov Grundman Buried Today]. Ma'ariv (in Hebrew) (NRG.co.il). Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f שלוש שנים בבור: ילדותו של יענקל'ה גרונדמן בפולין [Three Years In A Ditch: The Childhood Of Yankel'eh Grundman In Poland] (in Hebrew). One.co.il. 1 May 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Former Israel coach Grundman dies, 65". Ha'aretz. 25 May 2004. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Gamecast: Georgia v Israel". ESPN. Reuters. 27 May 2004. Retrieved 1 May 2011.