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DaneBramage

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About DaneBramage

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  1. Maccabi Tel Aviv - March 2025 What a time to forget how to play football. After flying through January we've been utterly putrid in February. I took a punt against Hapoel Nof HaGalil, giving Isaac Karamoko his first start against our old club. This didn't work out at all, he was completely ineffectual upfront and we had no cutting edge. When we did eventually have a gilt-edged chance to take the win, Dor Peretz tamely rolled his penalty wide of the post. That's two players who won't be starting any more games any time soon then. We had our first leg against NK Maribor in the Co
  2. Maccabi Tel Aviv - February 2025 The offers we're receiving for Sagiv Zohar are getting insane. I'm lucky we're rich and can afford to turn these down, but I do wonder how much longer it can continue before his head is turned or the board step in and accept a big one. He's vital to our success though, I hope we can keep him as long as possible. Not only is he a key part of our defence, he's also a big threat at the other end of the pitch. This was perhaps best demonstrated in our 4-1 league win over Maccabi Haifa. Three of our goals came from corners taken by Sagiv Zohar, two of them
  3. Maccabi Tel Aviv - January 2025 We spent most of January knocking back offers from China for Sagiv Zohar, which at times were going as high as £19 million (plus add-ons). He was tempted to go, but his main interest was in joining Sevilla, and no offer came from them. I convinced him to turn down the Chinese offer by promising him we'd win the league this year, which increases the pressure on me but keeps him happy for now. Unfortunately, disaster struck at the end of the transfer window. I'd completely forgotten to look out for which of my players might have release clauses that coul
  4. Maccabi Tel Aviv - January 2025 After being undefeated in my first 30 games at the club I finally saw my first loss with Maccabi Tel Aviv. We'd been on a streak of six clean sheets, but the new RNG caused by loading up the game today ended that run and for the first time we conceded more than once, which was enough to slip to defeat versus Hapoel Kfar Saba. We bounced back with a big 4-0 win before we had the top of the table clash against Hapoel Be'er Sheva. We ground out a bore draw and we probably left happier with this than they did, as it maintained our lead. Another big win fol
  5. Maccabi Tel Aviv - December 2024 We started December with our first goalless draw of the season, meaning we were now on a run of three draws in a row in the league. Again we had countless chances to score and should have won comfortably, and after the game I let the team know that I was not impressed with the recent form. The players weren't happy with this approach, but I made it clear that I did not want standards to drop. We then had our final Conference League group stage match, and completed the double over Spartak Moscow to make it a full house, six wins out of six. Back in le
  6. Maccabi Tel Aviv - November 2024 A comfortable away league win was a good way to start the month, and this was followed by a massive win in Europe. With a commanding lead in the group I played an entirely rotated side against Qarabag, and Mbala Nzola made the most of a rare start with four goals. Back in the league we then dropped our first points of the season, as although we absolutely dominated Hapoel Tel Aviv we couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo. They of course scored with their only shot all game, and we relied on a penalty from Mbala Nzola. We should have won by a rugby sc
  7. Maccabi Tel Aviv - October 2024 I saw Spartak Moscow as being the team to beat in our Conference League group, so the away tie in Russia would be the toughest game of this stage. However, it turned out to be a very winnable match, and Ronen Hanzis was the difference maker, showing some good anticipation to keep running forward after his throughball to Juan Manuel Gutierrez, so he was in the perfect place to slot home the rebound when the keeper could only parry the striker's effort away. We had a second away Conference League game this month against Qarabag, and this was an even easier vi
  8. Maccabi Tel Aviv - September 2024 I was worried when we conceded in the fifth minute against Hapoel Haifa that we weren't responding the right way to the disappointing draw that ended August. Luckily that feeling lasted just half an hour, as we grabbed an equaliser before quickly taking the lead. In the second half we then kicked on and managed a big victory. After the international break our result against Hapoel Kfar Saba wasn't quite as emphatic, but it was a very one-sided game where we never looked in any danger. Up next was our first Conference League group game, as we hosted K
  9. Maccabi Tel Aviv - September 2024 This isn't a very European-looking European group. Despite all of these federations playing in UEFA competition, none of them are situated solely in Europe. Israel is part of Asia, while Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan all crossover into both Europe and Asia. Nonetheless, I may well be underestimating a couple of these sides but I think we could qualify from this group. I expect Spartak Moscow to come out on top, but we could well sneak through in 2nd place. That being said, if being in Europe starts to negatively influence our league form it
  10. Maccabi Tel Aviv - July + August 2024 My first game in charge was an away tie against Siroki Brijeg in Bosnia & Herzegovina, in the Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round. I expected a victory, but there's always that moment of hesitation. Luckily a third minute opener settled the butterflies and we went on to pick up a fairly easy win. Next up was my first domestic game in the Toto Cup. It's not a priority for the board, but as I won it with Hapoel Nof HaGalil last year it would be nice to do well again with my new employers. We went straight in at the knockout stage rather than havi
  11. Maccabi Tel Aviv - June + July 2024 Other clubs have been more successful in Israel in the last few years and have become more reputable than Maccabi Tel Aviv, but we remain a very big club. With a bank balance of £34 million we have no financial worries, and a transfer budget of £15 million looks ridiculous. I only spent £21k in my four years at Hapoel Nof HaGalil... The board remain ambitious though and want to get back to winning ways, and have the facilities to match. Superb training facilities, state of the art youth facilities, an excellent youth academy, and exceptional junior
  12. Thanks! I really don't know how it's going to go, it could be a year filled with glorious success or I could be sacked and hounded out of the country within just a few months. The joy of taking over a big club...
  13. June 2024 I'd put in three job applications over three countries, and was invited to job interviews for each. - The first response came from Asteras Tripolis, who'd just survived the relegation play-off in the Greek top tier. I delayed making a decision for a week as they were my backup option if the others didn't amount to anything. - The next response was from Antalyaspor. At the start of the decade they'd suffered a relegation but immediately bounced back to the Turkish top tier, and had since re-established themselves with three midtable finishes. Again, I delayed my decis
  14. May 2024 I think I've taken Hapoel Nof HaGalil as far as I can, I don't see much potential left for further improvement. And with the idea of this being a journeyman career I didn't want to get stuck in a midtable malaise with them. I didn't enjoy that last season much either, so it's definitely time to make a move. -------------------------------
  15. April + May 2024 - Hapoel Nof HaGalil For the first time we've been involved in the bottom half after the league split rather than the top, which is disappointing. We had a seven point gap over the relegation area and very few of the teams in this group had any semblance of form behind them (hence their position), so there wasn't much to play for other than being best of the rest. We made a great start to this period with a pair of 3-0 wins, but then we were dominated by Hapoel Haifa. I was fuming after the first half hour against Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv, when they'd steamrolled us out
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