Oded Katash will make his debut on the sidelines for Panathinaikos against Fenerbahce on Friday night at 19:00 Israel time. The Israeli bench boss was introduced to the Athens and spoke about returning to his old stomping ground along with the game that awaits in Istanbul.
More on Oded Katash:
Dear Oded – The Sports Rabbi’s letter of admiration to the new Panathinakos coach
Oded Katash officially takes over at Panathinakos
Katash reflects on a job unfinished at Hapoel Jerusalem
“I am really excited to be here. Whoever knows me knows how big was my time here as a player and what Greece means for me. I always try to come back to Greece a few times every year, and Panathinaikos is like a second home for me. I am ready for the challenge, I feel very excited and honored to be the head coach of such a great club. We always want to do better. I need some time to feel the team first, we have a tight schedule and we need to start building something different.
“The situation is not broken, the players will need some time to understand my philosophy and I have to get to know them. If we have to do changes in a few weeks, we’ll make them. About Fenerbahce, I have to be realistic. I have great assistants and I will need help from them. That team is a big challenge and they have been in great shape lately.”
Katash also spoke about his relationship with the club’s current management who also were teammates of his during the one season he played with the team when they won the Euroleague title in 2000, “Working with Frangiskos Alvertis and George Kalaitzis is great! They are very good friends of mine, they are legends of the club and the EuroLeague. It is awesome to exchange views with them. The relationship that we have created over these years is the main reason why I am so excited to return to Greece. I’m sure that our relationship will help. It even helped me make that decision. I believe that the prospect of coaching Panathinaikos is in itself very great.”
The Sabra only played one season with Panathinaikos due to a devastating knee injury that cut his career as a player short. In some regards, Katash’s return is a a type of closure and coming full circle, “I don’t feel exactly like that. My career at Panathinaikos had an unfortunate ending that I did not manage to play as much as I wanted to here. At the end of the day it is very nice to be back, among friends and people I love, but above all it is the work we have to do together. We have a lot of work to do. The life of a coach is never easy. It is a job with great demands, especially under certain conditions.”
Shelvin Mack who played under Katash for a number of months last year in Jerusalem will reunite with the coach and is looking forward to collaborating with him once again, “He is a great coach, a players coach. He totally understands how the players think, having also played at a high level. I love his system and I’m excited to have the opportunity to play for him again.”