Soccer / Kiryat Shmona Is First With Guttman

New head coach names five players from Premier League table-topper.

Eli Guttman, the new national team coach, unveiled a new approach of "fulfilling the 2014 World Cup dream" yesterday that relies a lot less on the traditional powerhouses of Israeli soccer.

At yesterday's press conference, Guttman named five members from Kiryat Shmona, which leads the Premier League this season, but none from Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv or Beitar Jerusalem. The only representative of Hapoel Tel Aviv to be called up is striker Omer Damari.

The Kiryat Shmona representatives will be Danny Amos, Shir Tzedek, Elad Gabai, Eitan Tibi and Adrian Rochet. The other surprise call-up was Dedi Ben Dayan, who plays for Cypriot club Omonia.

Israel plays its first match under Guttman next week against Ukraine. Guttman called up 15 Israelis who play internationally. The injured Itay Shechter will be there in case he is ready to play.

The coach said regarding Gil Vermouth, who is on loan to Dutch club De Graafschap from Kaiserslautern of the Bundesliga, that he prefers to let the attacking midfielder get some more playing time to become better conditioned. However, he said he still has plans for Vermouth.

Dor Malul, Dudu Biton and Eden Ben Bassat were left off the list, as was Toto Tamuz.