Kiryat Shmona Are Champions
A fairytale end to an unlikely season, this is probably the best description for the road to Israel’s championship for Kiryat Shmona. The unheralded team led by their young coach Ran Ben-Shimon and charismatic owner Izzy Sheratzky, started on a great run at the beginning of the season while the “Big Four” in Israel were unable to put in consistent performances, as a result Kiryat Shmona pulled out with a big lead they have not relinquished all season. The championship is well deserved for Sheratzky who has invested a lot of time and energy into the small club since he bought the club. Kiryat Shmona is only a town of 23,000 people, and is better known for being a target of Israel’s Arab enemies due its proximity to the Lebanese border. Which makes this story all the more compelling, as it’s not every day a team from a small town wins a National Championship in any country. Kiryat Shmona have given up a stingy 16 goals all season which has been the main reason for their success the next closest teams have both allowed 27 goals. Two players on their back line were recently called up to the National Football Team, Shir Tzedek and Elad Gabai. Their goalkeeper Dani Amos also received a well deserved call up. Kiryat Shmona will struggle to qualify for the Champions League next season as they will be unseeded and start in the second qualifying round. However, if they can upgrade their team and keep their best players from this season, then they will definitely have a chance. Congratulations to Kiryat Shmona and their fans for a great season.