This morning, Maccabi Tel Aviv's championship squad gathered at the Kiryat Shalom training grounds for their maiden practice session under the stewardship of new head coach, Paulo Sousa

Less than a month after finishing their 2012/13 championship season, and with fresh faces on the touchlines, Maccabi Tel Aviv held their first practice this morning in the run up to the 2013/14 season. The club's new head coach, the Portuguese Paulo Sousa, arrived in Israel last night and this morning was already dressed in his new, Macron designed training kit to get his first impression of the members of his new squad. Among the new faces at the Kiryat Shalom training ground was midfielder Dan Einbinder, who joined Maccabi last week from Ironi Kiryat Shmona and held a light running session with fitness coach Yossi Zigdon. Striker Barak Yitschaki and goalkeeper Guy Haimov have both returned from season-long loans in the Division A league in Cyprus and joined striker Rade Prica, defender Carlos Garcia and midfielder Gonzalo Garcia, who themselves have just returned from short holidays in their homelands.  Midfielders Rafi Dahan and Ben ben Yair, who finished season-long loan spells at Bnei Yehuda and Hapoel Ramat Gan respectively, also joined the rest of the squad for a training session held under particularly hot weather conditions.

The squad's training sessions will continue tomorrow and on Sunday afternoon there will be an "open" practice for the benefit of Maccabi fans who wish to come and have a look at the new and veteran players alike. Next Thursday the team will be off to Austria where they will conduct a training camp lasting ten days. During that time all the club's fans will have the opportunity to stay up to date with reports, pictures and video clips which will be posted continuously on the official Maccabi Tel Aviv website and on the various social networks. But before they depart, the entire team will be waiting anxiously for the results of the draw for the first and second rounds of the Champions League qualifiers that will be held on Monday June 24th at UEFA headquarters in the Swiss city of Nyon.