The State Cup tournaments for many age groups continued today, Wednesday as Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Under-12 side defeated Hapoel in the Derby against Hapoel in front of over 1,500 fans at Ramat Gan Stadium. The young Yellow-and-Blue won by a score of 15:5 versus their city rivals in Red.
Kfir Alfonte and Eliran Mizrachi spoke to the Official Club Website following the match: “It was a terrific morning,” Alfonte commented. “We earned this big victory because of our ability to play well on large pitches, it was just great.”
Eliran Mizrachi also discussed the Yellow-and-Blue performance this morning at Ramat Gan: “We played very well and continued on the path we have been on all season long. We made sure to perform exactly how we had to in order to win. At the break we were leading 6:0 and it was important not to take our foot off of the gas.”
For those that may not know, at this age the pitch is divided into 2/8’s and two of these pitches become one. Alfonte explained how he and Mizrachi work together: “Each one of us takes half of the pitch and we are constantly talking between us. This way we know how we can strengthen the defensive or offensive sides.”
Mizrachi also talked about working together: “We have a relationship on and off of the pitch. We put together the starting lineups as well as the general management of the side, it’s just a lot of fun to work with Kfir. Each one of us does what we need to for the club, checking our egos at the door.”
Getting to the final wasn’t easy for the squad, Alfonte said: “We had a difficult draw throughout the tournament. Sometimes you get weak sides, but not in our case. Every team we were drawn against was strong including our own second club. We had a Derby in the final so the road was difficult but sweet. At the end of the day that’s what made this victory so sweet.” Mizrachi added that the children were very excited: “Two years ago this age group made it to the finals and won. The kids were definitely excited and thrilled but we made sure that they focussed just on football and nothing more. They showed how they could play at the most crucial moments of being an athlete.”
Prior to every State Cup final in the youth department, The Charter of Equality and Tolerance is signed by every player, coach and referee. In addition, the Israel Football Association has educational activities outside Ramat Gan Stadium about battling racism and creating equality for all children and adults.