Hapoel Gilboa Galil held a press conference to discuss the upcoming resumption of the 2019/20 season. Owner Haim Ohayon, Head Coach Lior Lublin and Co-Captains Netanel Artzi and Yotam Hanochi all addressed the assembled media via Zoom.
Haim Ohayon talked about getting the league back up and running as well as having so many youth players in the squad, “We saw that bringing back the league is part of the country and we felt that we were obligated to return to action just like every other industry. You can’t automatically go back to where we were but there is a path and doing these things will put us back on track. We have 8 youth department players who are taking part with us right now and that’s what is unique about our club. I’m sorry that one team has been causing issues but I’m sure once we get back onto the court things will get back to normal.”
Coach Lior Lubin also reflected on the youngsters in the squad, “We have to give a ton of credit to the youth department coaches for this. The players are featuring across the country and not just with a few minutes here or there. We are going to give minutes to the players who deserve them and this is really Israeli basketball.”
Lubin spoke about how the team may in fact be even younger than before, “Everyone who is here wanted to be here. There is no question that it’s a challenge and we all have that around the league. The way we selected players now is not how we would normally do in a regular season and we wanted to find players that could fit best into the pieces that we had before. We have some younger players who may be even quicker, we may be even younger than we were before.”
How has practice been? “We have been practicing well so far and with our base which is solid. We are in a very unique place where the players can acclimate and hopefully continue the season the way we began it.”
Netanel Artzi was excited to get back to work, “Many players were at home and we wanted to come back and play. We wanted to continue the season and we have a great team here. We’re excited. We hope that everything will go back to normal as soon as possible and we never thought that this would have happened but we are dealing with it.”
Yotam Hanochi also chimed in about the club and if he is healthy and day to go, “It’s great and when we had our first practice it felt like we were back in the youth team. It’s definitely a benchmark for the club and you can see how many of our players are playing all over the country. I’m in good shape and feel great. I have been working on getting ready for the challenge at hand.”