Steve McClaren is set to strengthen Maccabi Tel Aviv’s coaching staff after the 56-year-old former England Manager agreed to take-up a coaching consultant role at club.
McClaren, who managed England during the EURO 2008 qualifying campaign, will re-join Jordi Cruyff who was a player under him during their time at Manchester United when McClaren was Alex Fergusson’s assistant between 1999-2001.
Prior to the England job, McClaren won the League Cup with Middlesbrough in 2004 and after his spell as manager of the Three Lions which saw him held to a 0-0 draw by Israel at Ramat Gan before recording a 3-0 victory at the return fixture at Wembley stadium, McClaren, moved to Holland to coach Twente. In his first season at Twente, McClaren guided the team to the runners up spot and Cup finalists only to better that achievement the following season with a first league title for Twente in 2010.
Spells as Manager of VFL Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forrest and a second stint at FC Twente, saw McClaren return to Pride Park to the club he played for and made his first managerial footsteps before manging Newcastle United in 2015 and returning once again to manage Derby County in 2016.
Atar arrived in Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2010/11 and the technical forward’s first season with the yellow-blue team was excellent and his rapid adjustment left a great impression. 18 league goals and a total of 20 when Atar scored a pair in the inspiring 4-3 victory over Paris Saint Germain, which was not enough for Maccabi Tel Aviv to move ahead in the European League. People who believe in myths and legends crowned Atar as the player who removed the “curse of the forwards”, which has been hovering over the yellow club in the past few years.
The 2011/12 season started where the previous one left off and in Maccabi Tel Aviv’s first European games, Atar found the goal. He made five goals in the European League qualifiers and another one in the Group stage against Dynamo Kiev. On the local front, Atar made 12 goals in all of the competitions, including the winning goal in the derby against HaPoel Tel Aviv, which the yellow fans had been waiting for for nearly four years. Atar is still waiting to appear in the Israeli’s senior national team. While on the junior national team, he made eight appearances and scored one official goal and two more in friendly games.
Eliran Atar grew up in the Bnei Yehuda youth division and went on to the senior team in summer 2008. Atar, who first played with the Bnei Yehuda senior team at the young age of 17, did well in the HaTikva neighborhood team and after two good seasons he reserved a spot with the neighboring yellow team of Kiryat Shalom. At first, during the 2008/09 season, he scored 14 goals in the orange uniform and became the top scorer in the Premier League along with Shimon Abuhatzira and his Maccabi Tel Aviv spearhead partner, Barak Yitzhaki. During this season, Eliran Atar gave Israeli football fans an unforgettable moment with his famous overhead kick against Maccabi Netanya, which was even a candidate for goal of the year in Europe. In the next season, Atar scored 11 goals in all of the tournaments and left his roots to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Blackman began his playing career at Macclesfield Town before joining Blackburn Rovers in 2009 and spending loan periods at Blackpool, Oldham Athletic, Motherwell and Aberdeen.
Eleven goals in 28 appearances for Sheffield United led to a switch to Reading for which Blackman scored 18 goals in 103 appearances between 2013 and 2016 when he joined the Rams.