Kadosh, Lufa : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Kadosh, Lufa

Michael Kadosh

Kadosh was an efficient, hardworking goalkeeper in his playing days, and is an efficient, hardworking coach today. Though he has achieved some remarkable successes, his unassuming demeanor and common touch contribute to his status as perhaps the most underrated coach in Israel today.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. April 23, 1940

Career Highlights:
Lufa got his start at Maccabi Jaffa, and played for their senior team in the 1957-58 season. By the start of the next season, he had moved to Hakoah Ramat Gan, where he would enjoy his finest years. In 1965, Hakoah, led by Lufa and Yehuda Sha'harbani, brought their first (and only) championship title to Hakoah. In 1969, the duo led the "Crimsons" to the State Cup title as well.

In 1970, Kadosh moved to the ambitious Maccabi Netanya squad. With Duvid Schwitzer at the helm and Mordechai Spiegler leading the attack, the 1970-71 Netanya team became the first team from outside the central "Gush Dan" area to win the championship. As a result, the geography of Israeli soccer changed for good. In 1971-72, Kadosh's team, Maccabi Tel Aviv, won the title again, this time with Zvi Rosen and Giora Shpigel. Lufa finished his career at Maccabi, and retired after the 1975-76 season.

Kadosh accepted his first coaching job at fourth division Hapoel Lod in 1976-77 and led his team to nearly immediate promotion to the third division. The following season, Lufa led Lod to another successful campaign, and into the second division.

In 1978-79, Kadosh was called home to Hakoah Ramat Gan. The team was mired in the second division and in his first year in charge, Kadosh led them to the top division. The following season, he cemented the club's position in the premier division.

In 1980-81, Lufa was coaching Ramat Amidar and led them all the way to the State Cup semifinal, where they faced Hapoel Tel Aviv. In the 31st minute, Kadosh was ejected from the game; but he refused to leave. The match was abandoned, and Tel Aviv was awarded a technical victory. This debacle had an adverse affect on the coach's career, and he found himself coaching second-division teams throughout the 1980s. Lufa's finest moment of the decade came when he led underdogs Shimshon Tel Aviv to the State Cup final.

In 1990, the powerful Betar Jerusalem club was relegated to the second division. Lufa was appointed to try to save the struggling club. When star player Eli Ohana returned from Portugal, Kadosh led Betar to the 1991-92 second division championship.

In 1993-94, the veteran coach was given top division Betar Tel Aviv, which was on the verge of relegation at the time. Kadush saved the team and promoted several promising youngsters before the team's inevitable relegation in 1995-96 due to lack of finances.

In 2000-01, Lufa was tapped to save another fallen giant of Israeli soccer. Hapoel Ber Sheva had been stuck in the second division for several years and a vast number of big-name coaches had failed to promote the team. Kadosh was appointed mid-season after a terrible start and turned the team around. He unearthed the fiery winger Elyaniv Barda and led the club to the second division title and the Premier Division promised land. Along the way, they knocked Betar Jerusalem out of the State Cup in what was a huge upset.

For once, Lufa was allowed to enjoy the fruits of his labor, and he was handed the reins in the Premier Division. He led his modestly talented side to a surprisingly successful fifth-place finish in 2001-02, even though Barda was his only top-class player. In 2002-03, Ber Sheva finished fifth again even though Barda left the club and was never adequately replaced.

Despite Lufa's extraordinary accomplishments and evident skills, Hapoel Ber Sheva preferred a "big name coach" and Kadosh was released. He was signed to coach Hapoel Kfar Sava in the second division in 2003-04. He led Hapoel to fourth place, and only one point away from promotion to the Premier League.

Lufa was unemployed through most of the 2004-05 season. He was accused of meddling in Ber-Sheva affairs, while his former team was under the tutelage of Eli Gutman and later Eli Cohen. In February, 2005, Hapoel Ber-Sheva announced that they had signed Kadosh for the remainder of the season. The veteran coach faces an uphill battle as the southern team is 4 points below the red line with 10 games to go, as of February 27, 2005.

Jaffa, Israel

Career Dates:
Player: 1957-1975

Coach: 1976-


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