Maccabi “Shachar” Tel Aviv will get the Youth Premier League Ligat Ha’Al underway this Saturday at the Toto Ramle Stadium at 11:00 when they host Beitar Jerusalem. Just ahead of the opening whistle, the 19-year old captain, Tomer Altman who recently signed a 5 year contract with the club spoke about the upcoming campaign:

How do you feel about beginning the new season?
“I feel great as it’s always fun to begin again anew. This will be my 3rd season with the U19’s and I’m still excited to start the new campaign. We have a lot of good feelings, a lot of desire and we are hungry to get going in league action and get off to a good start.”

How do you feel about the new squad this season?
“We do have a new team and it’s different than last season’s. I believe that we have a good group of players who are continuing with the team from last year such as Fadi Najar, Or Dasa, Ran Vaturi along with Eylon Almog and Eden Kartsev who are veterans. We have also added some players who were born in 2000 and for them it will be their first season with the Under-19 side. The new players are working hard and they all want to learn as many of them won the Double last season with the U17’s and that says a lot about these guys. I’m sure that this will help us achieve success this season and I feel that we can really go far.”

How do you feel about the first match of the season?
“Of course I’m excited. Even though I’ve been with the team for 3 years, I’m still thrilled to get things going and I believe that the players can’t wait as well. We are opening the season against Beitar Jerusalem on live TV and I don’t think that we could have asked for a more challenging contest to begin the campaign. I’m certain that all of the players are coming into this game motivated and ready to go.”

How does it feel to be the Captain of the Under-19 club?
“It’s a huge honor to be the captain of the club and to be its leader. When you are a captain of a team you are very proud and the fact that I am a captain at a big club like Maccabi Tel Aviv makes me even prouder.”

What are your expectations for this season, both personally and for the club?
“I’ll begin by talking about my expectations for the club. A team like Maccabi Tel Aviv always wants to win and take home titles. So I am not embarrassed to say that the goal is to win titles especially since this is my 3rd year with the team and over the past two seasons unfortunately we have not won anything. On a personal level it’s very important for me to win a title in my last season with the U19 side. For myself, as a midfielder who likes to join the attack I want to score some goals and assist on others, more so than in the past two seasons that I was with the squad. The main goal of course is to be able to join the first team and prove that I can be a legitimate player with them.”