Itay Shechter, Maccabi Tel Aviv’s new striker who came on board the Yellow & Blue this past summer discusses a myriad of topics with the Official Website from his desire to succeed at Kiryat Shalom to his great love for the game of football:

איתי שכטר בראיון חג מיוחד

“It’s true I had offers from other clubs, but from the moment I knew I had the option to come to Maccabi Tel Aviv after many seasons, I felt that this was the right time. We have a big squad and it will be a challenge for me, but people that know me are aware that I enjoy a challenge. I’m happy with my decision to sign with Maccabi and I’ll do everything I can for the fans to cheer me on. There are a lot of emotions in football and I may have erred in some of the things that were in the past, but from the minute I arrived, I knew I was going to give my all to the Club.”

Goals ahead:
“Everyone wants to do the maximum in their career, whether it’s another championship or a State Cup or two. And that’s why I came here and that’s what Maccabi Tel Aviv expects us all to do, win these big titles. After being eliminated from Europe, this gives us even more strength and more drive to give 100% to reach our goals which is to bring the League championship back to Maccabi Tel Aviv.” 

Giving it all in League play:
“There are some very difficult and unpleasant moments in football and we got hit with that when we played a stronger Norwegian side. Maccabi had been in Europe for the past 3 seasons and I haven’t been for a while, so I really wanted to have the opportunity to play continental football. But you have to know how to deal with certain things in football. Maccabi Tel Aviv is a very strong Club and we have to put this aside and look ahead and give it our all in league play. It’s a long season.”

Having fun:
“I’m a player that likes to talk and be a part of the action in the dressing room as I’ve done my entire career. I’m there when anyone needs me and I try to do my best to balance it out. I can laugh and have a good time in the dressing room, but be very serious on the training pitch. That’s me.”

Football is my entire existence:
“I’m in love with football. It’s part of me and my oldest child is already a part of it. Sometimes people want to talk to me about the day after my football career and they want to explain to me what will be, but it just brings tears to my eyes. I don’t want to think about it. Football is my entire existence. From when I was a child, I’ve been like this and I can’t see myself every leaving the football world even after I retire. I don’t know what I would do. Even if I’m earning less, this is my life. That’s why every morning when I pray and put on Tefillin I say to God, ‘Thank you for allowing me to do what I love.’ All I want to do is play football even if I’m earning 10%. I want to thank God for this opportunity and that’s why I love this profession. Without football, life would be far less interesting.” 

The importance of the professional staff:
“I hope that we can continue to be a strong, happy and dynamic team as we’ve been so far. It’s clear that we have to continue to improve, but so far we are looking good and we are working hard in our training sessions. We have a great professional staff including two terrific fitness coaches in Darko Obradovic and Yossi Zigdon who work with us. We also have a fantastic medical staff who we have to acknowledge because sometimes people forget and don’t think about them. Even when there aren’t sessions they take care of the players and make sure they are healthy.”

The keys to success:
“One thing that’s important for a football club is to respect your opponent and that’s something you always have to be aware of. Sometimes at a big club you feel a bit conceited and that’s not good because you may be punished for that. In football, we have to be one of the top clubs in the world and if a club like Maccabi knows how to have that modesty, then we will be able to reach the highest of heights. If we will be hungry, strong and modest then I don’t see how anyone can stop us.”