One of the goals of the Maccabi Tel Aviv Avi Cohen Youth Academy is to help the young players improve and advance to the first team. Behind the scenes are many coaches, assistants and staff that are there to provide the next education along the way. One of those people is Eliezer Ben Aharon, the Under-17 Head Coach who tells us about his time to date in the world of football and the work he does at the Youth Academy.

Eliezer Ben Aharon, the Under-17 Head Coach
Ben Aharon has served as a football coach for 13 years, 8 at Maccabi Tel Aviv and today he serves as the Head Coach of the Under-17 team.

Born to Coach
“When my smallest child began playing football I was very interested in the development of young players which led me to take a coaching course. When I went to see my son train some people asks me advice since I was a former player. After I offered my thoughts or following a discussion many times they would say that I should coach and that I would be a natural.”

Working under a certain philosophy
“I believe that with this style and philosophy we are approaching the highest level of coaching and developing players that hasn’t been seen in the country in the past. Personally I believe that I am a better coach than I was previously.”

Developing younger player
“The most important elements in developing footballers is hard work and patience. ‘Hard work will defeat the talent of the talent doesn’t work hard.’ I have seen many talented players who didn’t work hard and at the end of the day they didn’t succeed but on the flip side I was able to work with players who were less talented but worked hard whhhd paid off in the end.”

Players he’s trained
“There are a number of players that I worked with who are now in the Premier League including Or Dasa, Yakov Brihen, Gaby Kanichowsky, Haviv Ohayon and others.”

Role Model
“There isn’t anyone specific but I like to take things from others that fit my personality both from coaches and other individuals. I try to be original as much as possible.”

Something from outside of the football world
“When I was young I used to go surfing and live the life around the sea. I’ll get back to that,I promised myself.”

The future
“At present I have no interest in being the head coach of a senior team. I try to be the best coach that I can be in the country at the youth level. I believe that satisfaction comes from the development of seeing players who have succeeded in advancing to the top league. To know that there is a player that you helped mold that gets to the top division – gives one a huge amount of pride. I believe that I have the ability, desire and the passion to reach this goal.”