Turgeman, Amir : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Turgeman, Amir

Turgeman is a natural striker who excels in open spaces. Amir started for the Israel national team in its 2-0 win over Cyprus in the Euro 2004 qualifiers on April 30, 2003. Having struggled to win a first team spot at Betar, Turgeman has signed a one year contract with S.C Ashdod. The striker will return to his hometown and is expected to be a regular starter at the club.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Oct. 5, 1972

Career Highlights:
A product of the fertile late 1980s and 1990s Maccabi Tel Aviv youth system, Turgeman was promoted to the senior squad at age 18, but never broke into the starting lineup at his home club. In 1992-93, the speedy forward moved to Ironi Ashdod and firmly established himself as the sharpest shooter in the mid-table club.

By 1994-95, Amir was Ashdod's star, scoring 17 league goals to lead all scorers in the Israel League. Despite the excellent form he retained throughout the campaign, Ashdod was relegated to the second division at the season's end. That year, Turgeman made his international debut against Georgia.

Turgeman left Ashdod to accept a lucrative offer from Hapoel Haifa. On paper, Haifa had a championship contender squad. Reuven Atar and Tal Banin were arguably two of the best midfielders in the country, while Turgeman was rapidly blossoming into one of the top strikers. Amir managed an impressive 13 goal haul, but the Red and Whites could only muster a fourth place finish.

Turgeman suffered through a harsh start to the 1996-97 campaign as he clashed with coach Ivan Katalinic and was injured after scoring only two goals for Hapoel. Upon recovery, he was hired on loan by a Maccabi Haifa side in dire need of firepower. The scorer did the job by bagging seven goals for Maccabi in a short time.

Turgeman returned to Ashdod the following year but did not regain his best form until the 1998-99 season, when he enjoyed his best year, scoring 19 goals and making six assists.

1999-2000 saw Amir return to Hapoel Haifa, the team that had captured the 1998-99 Israel League title but couldn't repeat their success. Turgeman scored 14 goals, but could do little on his own to lift the team above mediocrity. In 2000-01, Amir scored 13 goals and led Hapoel Haifa to the Toto Cup championship; the team finished third in the Israel League.

Amir returned to his parent club of Maccabi Tel Aviv for the 2001-02 campaign. That season, under the aegis of Nir Levin, was a disaster. The team underachieved, Turgeman was benched, and he scored only four goals that year.

In 2002-03, rookie coach Nir Klinger led Maccabi into the thick of the title race. Klinger played Turgeman more often with stunning results. He scored seven league goals and 12 goals in Israel Cup competitions. Maccabi won the title for the first time since 1996.

Turgeman was signed by the struggling Betar Jerusalem club for the 2003-04 season and attempted to shoulder their offensive burden. His performance for Jerusalem was mediocre at best. In 30 league appearances, the forward scored only three goals and was often booed by the vociferous fans. Betar finished ninth and were never too far from relegation.

Amir returned home to S.C Ashdod for the 2004-05 campaign. He will have to contend with two time league leading scorer, Shai Holtzman for a place in the starting eleven.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Career Dates:


Career Statistics:
13 caps/ 4 goals

121 goals in 332 app. (as of May, 2003)
21st of all time among Israeli scorers

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