Yonas Malede would have certainly wished for a better home debut or at least a different outcome as his 88th minute equalizer against Bnei Sakhnin at Bloomfield was only enough to help Maccabi salvage a draw against Bnei Sakhnin.

The 24-year-old forward who joined Maccabi in the transfer window from Mechelen, said: “Obviously I dreamt of this goal ever since I signed for this club. This draw is a point which feels exactly like a defeat to us for myself, and the entire team” he said. “At Maccabi we always think about winning every match. I wasn’t here before but I know of the recent spell, as I am certain we will be able to overcome and be there all the way to the end.”

On his decision to leave Belgium after three years with Gent and Mechlen to return to Israel and join Maccabi, Malede said: “There were plenty of factors to consider, but when Maccabi is calling, I was first and foremost excited with the interest shown in me as I can achieve many things with Maccabi. This is a giant club with a massive fan base.” The former Maccabi Netanya forward who will face his boyhood club next week, added: ”I always used to come here with came here with Netanya as this was the club I always wanted to play for. This is not just a cliche – to win titles, to play in Europe, this is the club every Israeli player dream to play for.”

On his experience in Belgium, Malede revealed: “Things didn’t work out the way I was hoping they would. I was playing but still had that feeling. When Maccabi called, I really wanted to join and felt that good things can happen here. The atmosphere there, and things off the pitch were quite hard for me, for three years I was pretty much alone and when I saw that things weren’t working so well as I was hoping they would, I just decided I wasn’t going to force it. I really think that Maccabi are not falling short in any way from Gent or Club Brugge. I was there and experienced it and now I am very happy to be here. I am delighted with the journey I made as I think I improved a lot physically, technically, as well as my understanding of the game” he added, “I feel that what I did there, with all the difficulties I experienced are three good years that developed me both as a player and a person.”

Ahead of next Monday’s match away to Netanya which will be a return to his old stomping ground, Malede summed up: “It would be a very emotional for me as this is where I grew up at. It is the club that gave me everything and turned me into who I am today. I am however not focusing on that at all, all In want us is to show up and win the match.”