After moving up a few slots to eighth place last year, Inter Aliyah aims to make more significant progress in Israeli soccer’s fifth-tier league.
“First of all, we have to improve on last year’s performance and in table position,” central defender Sam Sank, who has served as captain since the team was founded, told Haaretz. “If we can be really optimistic and have lofty aspirations, we could finish in the top three or four and reach the playoffs.”
Inter Aliyah announced its final roster recently. Some 15 countries are represented on the squad, to be coached by Elie Mishan, making the team clearly the most diverse in the country.
Central defender Sank, who hails from England, will be joined at his position by Yona Dorfzaun (Ecuador), Ilan Abraham (France), June Eiger (Germany) and Danny Pinto (Netherlands). The forwards include Zack White (Scotland), Eviatar Erez (Israel) and Vladimir Kart (Russia). They will be flanked on the wings by Anazao Aristo (Ethiopia), Evgeny Kart (Russia), Jaime Kaufman (Peru) and Fernando Zatz (Brazil).
South Americans will dominate the midfield, among them Uruguayans Brandon Bonomo, Andy Gabay and Sebastian Israel, Brazilians Leo Fingerhut and Nathan Obadia and Argentine Gaston Hilman. Fekade Golantau (Ethiopia), Ariel Perez (Israel), Benjamin Polnauer (Hungary) and David Schuman (Germany) will also play midfield.
- Israel soccer: Inter Aliyah finishes two spots ahead of 2017, placing eighth
- Israel soccer: Team made up of new immigrants shuts out Beitar Ezra
- Israel Soccer: Inter Aliyah plays well but loses to fourth-tier exile
The team named Vitali Blanco (Ukraine), Allan Camarov (Brazil), Raz Hemo (Israel) and David Platz (South Africa) as fullbacks. The squad’s two goalkeepers are both Russian: Evgeny “Jenia” Bourkouvki and Denis Timakov.
Inter Aliyah opens its season Friday at Elitzur Jaffa-Tel Aviv. Elitzur defeated Inter Aliyah 1-0 when it visited the team of immigrants last year.
“As regards to Friday, we will be full of confidence to pick up three points,” Sank added.