“Israel is a beautiful country. I have a great affiliation with Israel,” Neil Lennon’s Job Hunting Charm Offensive

“Israel is a beautiful country. I have a great affiliation with Israel,” Neil Lennon said as he speaks about his wish to consider carefully any offers that may come his way to get a manager’s job in Israeli football. And leading Israeli agent, Dudu Dahan who has closely worked with Neil Lennon and Peter Lawwell over the last decade or so has put together some promotional material to help the former Celtic manager get a job in his homeland.

Speaking on Israeli TV the former Celtic manager had this to say when asked about working in the country. Would he be up for such a move? “Yes, absolutely,” Lennon replied as reported by Cengiz Adabag News. “For starters, Israel is a beautiful country.

Photo: Jeff Holmes

“I have a great affiliation with Israel, with the football, because of the players I have worked with and people I have met like Dudu, friends and colleagues over the years.

“I have a good relationship with Dudu, who is a big agent in Israel, and he brought me lots of players.

“I have always kept an eye on the bigger clubs, like Maccabi, like Be’er Sheva. Even Ashdod because we took Efe Ambrose from there originally. So definitely, it would be something that I am interested in. I have always wanted to work abroad,” the former Celtic manager revealed.

Lennon has worked with five Israeli players during time at Celtic and Hibs, thse being Nir Bitton, Beram Kayal, Rami Gershon, Hatem Elhamed and Ofir Marciano.

And he revealed that he failed in a bid to sign star striker Eran Zahavi for Celtic. “Zahavi was one back in the day. I really liked him. He is a good striker, an icon and a talismanic player. But we never managed to reach an agreement with him.

“Munas Dabbur is also a handful at any level when he’s hungry. Israeli players have good values. They are hungry and they make a positive impression.

“It is a good market and they want to create a career abroad. It’s not an easy thing to do, to live outside your country, to leave your family in a different climate.

“For example, Nir Bitton has been here for eight years. He is almost Scottish! “His children study here, and Beram was also here for a long time, as was Ofir.

“They go on a journey, they do not come for a year or two and go. They have a good mentality.”

Liel Abada, Celtic v Raith Rovers – Photo Andrew Milligan

Lennon also gave his opinion on the latest Israeli to sign for Celtic, Liel Abada. “Abada has started his Celtic career very well. He is not really physically built, but he is fast, sharp and finishes well.

“He’s only 19 and I think he’ll finish the season with double figures. For a winger these are very nice numbers and a very good contribution. Maybe he can develop a little physically, but he’s still young and I like what I have seen of him.”

On tomorrow’s vital World Cup qualifier at Hampden between Scotland and Israel, Lennon outlined his thoughts. “Scotland might get anxious and nervy at home, and that could give Israel an opportunity to win. They have the players to hurt Scotland in Zahavi, Dabbur and Manor Solomon.

“Scotland don’t score many goals but they are a difficult team to break down at times. It’s 50-50 for me. I know the general impression in Israel is that Scotland are big favourites. But there isn’t much between the teams.”

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About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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