Although he is suffering from a serous illness, 11-year old Ofek Shina hasn’t given up his dream of playing football. Ofek plays goalkeeper near his home in Kfar Yona and hasn’t given up on his dream despite battling a bone marrow disease that has stunted his growth due to a lack of phosphorus in his body. Yesterday, Ofek who is an avid Maccabi supporter and a season ticket holder was hosted at the PenguinPickUp Training Ground at Kiryat Shalom together with his family and Maccabi Tel Aviv Foundation Manager Yuval Shaham.

As part of the visit, Ofek was able to watch the training sessions and meet the players including Prddrah Rajkovic who gave him his shirt and keeper gloves. Following the session, Ofek spoke about the experience: “My dream is to one day play for Maccabi Tel Aviv and replace Rajkovic.”

Shaham added: “We are very proud and happy to host Ofek at the team’s training session and help straighten him. Ofek is a very special boy, and his desire to be the best that he can be despite his limitations give all of us inspiration. Ofek is a true Maccabist.”

Over the past six months, Ofek has been treated with a special drug which today becomes an officially licensed medication which is strengthening his bones and allowing him to continue his football career.