Ben-Yosef is a commanding central defender with a well timed tackle. After years of undeserved obscurity, he came to the fore as Maccabi Petah Tikva enjoyed a surprising third place finish in the 2003-04 season. A call up to the national team was not long in coming, and the defender is good bet to win a starting international berth during the 2006 World Cup qualification campaign. Tomer has played for Petah Tikva throughout his career, from his childhood to the present day.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. September 2, 1979
Ben-Yosef was practically born into the ranks of Maccabi Petah Tikva, the smaller team in that city, and played for them from a tender age. His first team debut was an early one as the precocious defender appeared for Maccabi in the 1995-96 season, albeit in a limited capacity. His team placed sixth in the Israeli top division. In the 1996-97 and 1997-98 season, Tomer functioned as a backup for Azerbaijani defender Morad Megamadov, as the team finished fourth and ninth respectively.
During the 1998-99 campaign, Ben-Yosef established himself as Megamadov's partner in central defense. He started 21 league games while appearing 5 times as a sub. The financially modest club finished 10th in the league and made the State Cup quarterfinals. The defender remained a fixture in the first team in 1999-2000. Maccabi enjoyed a fourth place finish on the strength of their dependable defensive performance. Petah Tikva managed to score only 50 goals (eighth in the league) but conceded a mere 47 (fifth overall).
The homegrown defender was dependable at the back in the 2000-01 campaign. He started 29 games and came on as a replacement thrice. Petah Tikva reached the State Cup final and lost 3-0 to Maccabi Tel Aviv. In the league they suffered a mediocre showing, placing eighth with uninspiring form. In 2001-02 Ben-Yosef appeared 23 times as Maccabi finished eighth with the sixth best defensive unit in the league.
In the 2002-03 season, Tomer started 29 games and appeared as a substitute twice. The Maccabi defense was very trustworthy and was numerically the fourth best in the Israeli Premier League. Petah Tikva came in sixth overall as their squad lacked depth. During the 2003-04 campaign, the central defender started 30 times and enjoyed his best season yet. Furthermore, Ben-Yosef scored his first top division goal and made an assist as Maccabi finished in third place (an all-time record for the club).
On February 18, 2004, Tomer made his international debut. He played for Israel as they beat Azerbaijan 6-0 in a friendly. He has since made further appearances under the auspices of Avraham Grant. As a youngster, the defender appeared seven times for the Olympic team.
Petah Tikva, Israel