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Torrijo and Martinez are leaving


By editorial team

Juan Big

Head fitness coach Juan Torrijo Navaro and assistant coach Ruben Martinez will be leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv after one year at the club

Head fitness coach Juan Torrijo Navaro and assistant coach Ruben Martinez have announced they will be leaving their roles as head fitness coach and assistant coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv. The club wish to thank Juan and Ruben for their contribution to last season's championship and wish them the best of luck in the future. MTA sports director Jordi Cruyff said that "We are sad to lose two such outstanding professionals as Juan and Ruben who contributed so much to winning the title this past season, but we fully understand their desire to continue their partnership with (ex-head coach) Oscar Garcia".

Juan Torrijo Navaro arrived at Maccabi last summer after 16 seasons in a similar role at the Spanish La Liga side Valencia CF, where he shared in one of the most successful periods in the club's history. During that time the team were two-time winners of the league championship, the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup and added to that one UEFA Cup and a European Super Cup. Torrijo was also on board when Valencia reached the finals of the Champions League in two successive seasons, 2000 and 2001.

Ruben Martinez Caballero also arrived to Maccabi last summer together with ex-head coach Oscar Garcia, with whom he had worked for two years at the FC Barcelona Youth Team.  Ruben was born in a town close to Valencia and joined Barcelona's youth system. After three years as the Barcelona Youth Team's goalkeeper he made his anticipated move to the Catelonian club's third squad (FC Barcelona C). A year later he moved up to the club's second group, FC Barcelona B, which plays in the second tier of the Spanish league. After being unsuccessful in his attempts to hold down a position in the senior squad (apart from one match and then only on the bench), he moved to Deportivo Leon in the third tier of Spanish football.

Ruben spent the following seasons with third division sides Zamora, Novelda, Hercules (with whom he was promoted to the second division) and Badalona. In the summer of 2010 he retired from active play after having begun in his last year to work as a scout for former Bulgarian and Barcelona star Hristo Stoichkov's football academy in Barcelona. In the two years prior to joining Maccabi Ruben worked at Barcelona's Youth Team, analysing specific video material for goalkeepers and also for the first team and for rival clubs.

In another development, Maccabi Tel Aviv have reached agreement for a loan deal that will see midfielder Ben Ben Yair spend the 2013/14 season at fellow Winner League club Ironi Ramat Hasharon.