Spahija will Coach Maccabi Tel Aviv
Shlomi Peri ,07/05/2006
Neven Spahija, who defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv twice this season in the Euroleague, signed with the team as Pini Gershon's replacement. He'll rejoin his Croatian captain, Nikola Vujcic.

The 44 year old Croatian Neven Spahija will be Maccabi Tel Aviv's next coach. He signed with the team and after Maccabi made an agreement with his former club, Rytas Vilna, the deal was announced officialy. Before leading Rytas to the Lithuanian and Baltic championship, he worked with Roseto of Italy, Seratov of Russia, Novo Mesto of Slovenia and Cibona Zagreb of Croatia.

In the past 5 years, Spahija was the head coach of Croatia, which he led together with his captain there, Nikola Vujcic, to Eurobasket 2005's quarterfinals, where the team lost to Spain. The Croatian were very upset with the refereeing in the game, and Spahija said he'll never coach in FIBA's competitions again. Before working with the senior team, he led Croatia's U-21 squad to a silver medal in the World Championships in 2001.

The Croatian coached his new player Jamie Arnold in Novo Mesto, which he led to the ULEB Cup final and to a surprising win over Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Adriatic league in 02/3.

Maccabi's last foreign head coach was Vinko Jelovac in 97/8. Prior to him, Maccabi had Ted Evans in 89/90, Rudy D'amico in 80/1 and Fred Dwilly in 75/6, which became the first coach to be sacked in mid-season.

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