Maccabi Netanya F.C.

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Maccabi Netanya
Full name Maccabi Netanya Football Club
Nickname(s) The Diamonds
Founded 1934; 83 years ago
Ground Netanya Stadium, Netanya
Ground Capacity 13,610
Owner Eyal Segal
Manager Slobodan Drapić
League Israeli Premier League
2016–17 Liga Leumit, 1st (promoted)

Maccabi Netanya F.C. (Hebrew: מועדון כדורגל מכבי נתניה‎, Moadon Kaduregel Maccabi Netanya) is an Israeli football club based in Netanya. Established in 1934, the club was a founding member of the Israeli League in 1949. After winning their first championship in 1971, the club's golden period lasted until the late 1980s, including three more league titles and a double in 1978.


Maccabi Netanya Football Club was founded in 1934 as a Mandatory Palestinian club and initially played in green and white stripes. The club played their first game against Beitar Netanya in 1935 at the Maccabi stadium, which was located in the center of the city. The club's first season was in 1935–36 when they played in Liga Gimel which back then was the third tier in Israeli football. After three seasons in Liga Gimel the club won promotion to Liga Bet (second tier), and in the 1941–42 season they won Liga Bet to secure promotion to the top division which back then was known as the Palestine League.

During World War II, the club's activities were suspended due to the situation in Palestine. During the early to mid 1940s, when British soldiers were in Palestine, there were a number of British players who served in military bases near Netanya and played for the club. The most famous were Bertie Mee, Tom Finney, who were the first foreigners to play for the club. The 1943-44 season of the Palestine League was the first season that Maccabi Netanya played a full season in the top tier of football in the country, they finished the season in the sixth place. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, four of the clubs's players were killed - Israel Arbaitman, Yehuda Blecher, Haim Goldstein, David Liebster and coach Baruch Feuer.

After the establishment of the State of Israel, Maccabi Netanya was among the 13 teams that formed the senior league in Israel. In the 1949-50 season, Netanya played in the first and only edition of the Israeli League and finished in ninth place. In 1954 the club qualified to the Israel State Cup for the first time and the next season the club finishing in fourth place in the league. After two rather successful seasons, the club had to fight against relegation in the 1955-56 season. Netanya managed to get back in the top of table in the 1957–58 season as they finished fourth again. In the 1961–62 season, after a few years in the bottom of the league, the club got relegated to the second division after finishing 12th and final in the league. Netanya played two seasons in Liga Alef until in the end of the 1963–64 season when they won the league and got promoted back to the top division. With the return of the team to Liga Leumit, the team joined the top ranks, with Mordechai Spiegler playing in its ranks. Spiegler finished three consecutive seasons as the top scorer of the league. In the 1968–69 season, the team finished third in the league with Spiegler again as the top scorer.

After the third-placed finish in 1968–69, the 1970–71 season saw Netanya win their first title by a margin of eleven points, back then the largest in Israeli football history. They also reached the State Cup final, but lost 2–1 to Maccabi Tel Aviv.[1] In 1972–73 Neyanya finished thirteenth in Liga Leumit, avoiding relegation by only two points. However, the following season they won their second title. In 1975 they changed their kit to play in black and yellow. They won a third title in 1977–78, and completed the double by beating Bnei Yehuda 2–1 in the State Cup final. They also finished as winners of their group in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. A fourth championship was won in 1979–80 by a margin of ten points, whilst their fifth title, in 1982–83 was won by a fourteen-point margin.[2] In the same season they won the League Cup, a feat repeated the following year. In 1986–87 and 1988–89 they reached the League Cup final, but lost on both occasions.

In 1994–95 Netanya finished bottom of Liga Leumit and were relegated to Liga Artzit, in the same season the youth team won the youth championship. After winning the league in 1998–99 they returned to the top division. However, they were relegated again in 2003–04 after finishing second from bottom, though they made an immediate return to the top division after finishing as Liga Leumuit runners-up in 2004–05, a season in which they also won the Toto Cup Leumit.

In December 2005 Daniel Jammer, a Jewish German businessman bought the club for a fee of $1,500,000.[3] In 2006–07 the club finished as Premier League runners-up, a feat repeated the following season. In April 2008 Lothar Matthäus was appointed manager. Although the club led the league in the early part of the 2008–09 season, they eventually finished fourth and Matthäus was sacked and replaced by Nati Azaria.

The 2010–11 season saw the club finishing sixth in the top playoff games. The next season Netanya finished in the fourth place when they shared the same amount of points as the runners-up. This was quite an achievement considering the fact that the club didn't have a stable budget behind them or an owner to invest in the club. They were relegated again in 2012–13 after finishing second from bottom.

In August 2013 Eli Segav and Yossi Maor took over as the new owners of the club. Netanya made an immediate return to the top division after finishing as the champions of Liga Leumuit in the 2013–14 season, a season in which they also reached the State Cup final, losing 1–0 to Ironi Kiryat Shmona in front of more than 22,000 supporters of Netanya.[4]

The club got relegated again at the end of the 2015–16 season.[5] This season is regarded as the worst season the club has ever had in the first tier of Israeli football and most have said it was the worst in the history of the club.[6] Doron Osidon was appointed the chairman of the club by the mayor of Netanya. Shlomi Dora was signed as the manager of the club. At the start of the season five players got severely injured (including the main goalscorer and captain Eran Levy) which caused for many problems. Dora got sacked after the club didn't do well, Reuven Atar got called to replace him. After three months of no real change and barley winning any points, Atar was sacked as well. Guy Tzarfati was called up to be the caretaker manager and after he lost a State Cup game against Sektzia Nes Tziona of the third division he was sacked and was replaced by Meni Koretski who couldn't save the sinking ship. Koretski decided to quit on March 26.[7] Omer Peretz who retired at the start of the season (after he was one of the players that got injured), became the manager of the club.[8]

In June 2016 Eyal Segal (a known die hard supporter of Maccabi Netanya) took over as the new owner of the club and declared the goal is to get promoted at the end of the season.[9] The club started the 2016-17 season with a deduction of 9 points, but still managed to do the unthinkable as they got promoted back to the top flight of Israeli football as the Leumit champions.[10]


There is a strong rivalry between Netanya and Beitar Nes Tubruk Netanya. Originally, there were hopes of the two clubs uniting so as not to split allegiances of kids in the city. The merger never came to fruition and since, the two clubs have been at each other's throats both claiming that the other has forced a child not to switch clubs, which is illegal in Israel. On one occasion when two Tubruk players came to shake hands with Netanya players after a derby match in Liga Leumit LeNoar, they were subsequently left out of the team for the club's next league match[citation needed] . The senior derby only took place a handful of times when both clubs played in the second tier, in the 1939 season, 1940 season, 1941–42 season, 1962–63 season and in the 1963–64 season. The 1986–87 season was the only season the two teams played in the top division at the same time. The first game took place in Tubruk Stadium with 9,000 people in attendance, Yigal Menahem scored the only goal for Maccabi. The derby also took place in the State Cup during the 1947 first round and the 1984 seventh round.

There's also a strong rivalry between Netanya and Hapoel Kfar Saba, games between the two are often called "Derby HaSharon" because the two clubs are known to be the major teams from the Sharon plain. The rivalry was at its peak in the 1981–82 season which saw the two clubs going head to head for the championship with Netanya losing the title in the final game of the season.

Since the late 1990s, the strongest rivalry has probably been Hapoel Beer Sheva.


The current Maccabi Netanya's organization fans is Diamonds Army, established in 2009 by 5 fans of the group. The organization supports the group in encouraging and preparing backdrops games.

Maccabi Netanya audience is the audience who most frequently named public value of the first round of the Premier League – Plan for kicking the violence and racism of the lots. The organization fans have a 3 wins title seasons 2009/2010, 2011/2012 and 2012/2013.


The club plays its home matches at the 13,800-capacity Diamond Stadium, Netanya, which was opened in October 2012. The club former stadium was the 7,500-capacity Sar-Tov Stadium, which was commonly known as HaKufsa (lit. The Box). It was named after Yosef Sar-Tov, who was amongst the club's founders, and was its first chairman.

Current squad[edit]

As of 2 June 2017
No. Position Player
2 Israel DF Viki Kahlon
5 Croatia DF Branko Vrgoč
8 Israel FW Ramzi Safouri
10 Israel MF Dia Saba
12 Israel DF Dean Maimoni
14 Israel DF Hagay Goldenberg
15 Israel MF Aviv Avraham
16 Israel DF Kobi Mor
17 United States MF Jake Rozhansky
19 Israel FW Yonas Malede
22 Israel GK Golan Elkaslasy
23 Israel DF Guy Gross
No. Position Player
25 Israel DF David Tiram
26 Guinea FW Alhassane Keita
31 Germany DF Tim Heubach
55 Niger MF Ali Mohamed
77 Argentina MF Nico Olsak
82 Israel GK Danny Amos
88 Togo FW Didier Kougbenya
99 Israel FW Eran Levy (Captain)
Israel FW Shoval Gozlan
Israel DF Dudu Twito
United States DF Jonathan Bornstein

Youth team 2017-18[edit]

No. Position Player
Israel GK Ariel Mesika
Israel GK Amit Merigen
Israel DF Shalev Samorlo
Israel DF Yarin Mesika
Israel DF Assaf Ben Shabat
Israel DF Or Vaknin
Israel DF Essam Ayashi
Israel DF Gaber Karim
Israel MF Aviel Asras
No. Position Player
Israel MF Shadi Kabha
Israel MF Ohad Hazut
Israel MF Ofek Balulu
Israel MF Dor Balali
Israel MF Paz Blender
Israel MF Yarin Sharabi
Israel MF Brancy Mustafa
Israel FW Libar Hazut
Israel FW Alon Roei
Israel FW Jouja Ram
Israel FW Haj Iyad






Minor honours[edit]

  • Nesher Cup
    • Winners (1): 1941
  • Netanya Cup
    • Winners (1): 1953





  • Managers marked in bold have won an honour with the club.



External links[edit]