Hapoel Jerusalem held a press conference to unveil Oren Amiel as their new head coach. The Israeli bench boss returns to his home country after nine seasons coaching abroad in the Czech Republic with Nymburk and takes over the Reds on a two year deal.
“I’ve had a long history with the club and it was a dream of the family that one day I would have been the coach of Hapoel Jerusalem. I didn’t want to think too much about it as we were negotiating but when it finally happened I cried with my family in the living room. I was an assistant to with the club in the last season at Malha and now I am coming back to the coach the team through the front door of the arena.”
Amiel’s goals ahead:
“The goals of the club are clear which is to win and succeed as much as possible. I want to build a club with players that understand the importance of connecting with our fans. They are our lifeline and that’s the most important part of the club. There are also so many community activities that are part of the club and we need the fans to be a part of this.”
Giving everything he can to the club:
“I give everything that I can and that is the message that I will give to my players. That brings a level of belief between us and it’s both on and off of the court. Day in a day out the people in this club work for the betterment and success of the team.”
Building the team:
“We have an excellent budget and a group of people who are working 24 hours a day to make sure we have what we need. We want to be very careful as to who we pick to play for the club and it’s crucial that they feel a responsibility to the club.”
“We began building the team from scratch, other than Adam Ariel we have to bring in all new players. I don’t look at the other clubs and adjust how I am constructing the team but I want to build something that reflects us. I am picky in the players that I want and they have to be both good players and also must be ones that understand the DNA of the club.”
“The market is a bit crazy right now due to a few reasons. The NBA Draft is late as is the Summer League. So the we are working on that, the budget is good as I’ve said before.”
Lessons learned abroad:
“I was away for nine seasons in the Czech Republic and I feel that I know much more as to what I want as a coach. There’s a certain style of play and practice, there were so many experiences that I was able to have to understand what I needed which allowed me to expand my knowledge as a coach. In a foreign country you have to have an open mind.”
Competing in Europe and in Israel:
“I think that the two have to be combined together like an orchestra working in harmony and that we have to have depth on the team where everyone can contribute and that they feel that they contribute. At the end of the day we have to win and nothing will be easy. There has to be patience and we have to come together in order to succeed.”
Bringing in Itay Segev in place of Idan Zalmanson:
“Itay is the style of player that I want to bring in. He is the best big man in terms of athleticism and as the type of person that he is. He was at a crossroads and there is a great opportunity for him. He has certain qualities that are hard to find. He was out first choice.”
“I enter into a situation and I want to win that situation. The club has had many accomplishments and we felt that we have to now build the club a certain way as to how we want them to play the game. There are no goals here. None of the great coaches ever talk about that. The desire to win titles is part of the club.
“There is a difference between the team and the club. Everything comes from the top and there has to be a connector between the club and the fans and when that happens so can good things.
“I was very happy to be here as an assistant it’s a privilege to now be the head coach of Hapoel Jerusalem. I worked very hard to get to this point in my career.”