Eli Dricks was one of the greatest strikers ever to wear the blue and yellow jersey of Maccabi Tel Aviv FC, ranked fourth among the club’s all-time goalscorers. His potential as a centre forward became apparent when Dricks was promoted to the senior team and made his maiden appearance in February 1982 against Bnei Yehuda. After a half season stint at Maccabi Yavne in the 1984/85 season, Dricks returned to Maccabi Tel Aviv and began to realise his potential. It was in this season that this tall, strong striker began to show his versatility with his strong head and his deadly finishes that led to him to end the 1985/86 season with 16 goals in all competitions.
Dricks’ presence in the Maccabi attack was felt in the following season as well when he scored 17 goals, including a brace in the fascinating State Cup final against Maccabi Haifa that ended 3-3 after extra time. But Dricks also scored his goal in the successful penalty shoot-out that handed the State Cup trophy to Maccabi Tel Aviv for the first time in a decade. He also played his part in ending an even longer wait, 13 years, when the club won the championship in the 1991/92 season. Dricks contributed 13 goals that season, including a brace in the 4-0 thumping of Hapoel Tel Aviv in the Tel Aviv derby. For Maccabi fans sitting at the home end of the pitch, two unforgettable goals in an unforgettable first derby triumph in four years.
A year later the derby ended with the same spectacular scoreline and Dricks marked a milestone in his career by contributing three of Maccabi’s four goals. In doing so he demonstrated beyond any doubt his complete dominance of the pitch and his goalscoring versatility, netting the first with his head, the second with his right foot and the third with his left foot in what could easily be considered the greatest match of his career. A number of years later, in the 1995/96 season, Dricks proved once again that even at the age of 31 he hadn’t lost his touch, scoring 18 goals in all competitions in this unforgettable double season.
In all Dricks scored 113 league goals and 159 in all competitions, making him one of only four players in the history of Maccabi Tel Aviv to score more than one hundred goals. In all, Dricks won three championships (1991/92, 1994/95,1995/96), four State Cups (1986/87, 1987/88, 1993/94, 1995/96) and two Toto (League) Cups (1992/93, 1998/99). For part of his career at Maccabi he wore the captain’s band, sharing it with midfielder Nir Klinger. He also made 27 appearances for the Israeli national side, scoring four goals.
picture courtesy of the Israel Football Association archives
Harris Medunjanin is a 1.88m Bosnian/Dutch midfielder considered to be one of the most talented foreigners ever to land in Israel. Medunjanin debuted in Alkmaar in the 2004/05 season although his later opportunities with the team were limited and he did play much during his three years there. In 2006, he was loaned to Sparta Rotterdam, playing an essential role as the team ended the season in 13th place, and then returned to Alkmaar, only to relive the experience of his first encounter with the leading Dutch team. Nevertheless, Medunjanin’s talent was appreciated by the officials at Real Valladolid of the Spanish League and he spent two seasons there, in the first of which he made a very good impression.
After Valladolid was relegated to the second league, Harris Medunjanin decided to sign on with Maccabi Tel Aviv at the beginning of the 2010/11 season. Harris was considered one of the most prominent acquisitions in the team’s scouting campaign for that season and he was subject to great expectations. The midfielder, who also plays on the Bosnian national team, started the 2010/11 season with a storm, with four consecutive league goals starting in the second round and a total of nine goals in all competitions. Medunjanin’s glory slightly declined in the 2011/12 season and, except for an important goal against Panathinaikos – which helped Maccabi Tel Aviv qualify for the Euro Group stage – he made just one more league goal and did not play much
Hendrie Kruzen joined Maccabi Tel Aviv as part of coach Peter Bosz’s training staff. A native of Holland and a former player, Kruzen has been an assistant coach for a number of teams in the Netherlands prior to joining Bosz at Kiryat Shalom.
Born on November 24, 1964 in the city of Almelo, Kruzen began his First Team playing career with Hercales Almelo at the age of just 16. The midfielder was then sold to Den Bosch and after two successful seasons with the club he was called up to the Dutch National Team for the 1988 European Championships under coach Rinus Michels but did not feature in any of the matches. He then moved to PSV Eindhoven where he won a Double with the club.
Kruzen then rejoined Den Bosch and continued his career in Belgium and then back to Holland before retiring in 2002. After hanging up his cleats he rejoined his youth club Heracles Almelo as part of the training staff and then moved to Vitesse in 2013 as Bosz’s assistant. Kruzen returned to Heracles at the start of the 2015 season and came along with Bosz to Maccabi Tel Aviv mid-season.