Maccabi announces coaching staff

March 24, 2016 by David Weiner
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Maccabi Australia’s bid to provide the best Maccabiah experience yet has extended to the unveiling of a high calibre coaching team to guide the country’s athletes to the 2017 Games in Israel.

A thorough process has been undertaken by the delegation’s team management to ensure the best candidates available are in charge of bringing together Jewish athletes from across the country.

Mike Peniston

Mike Peniston

Australia’s Maccabiah Team will be privileged to feature coaches with Olympic, international and national league experience, while there are a group who are graduating from being successful Maccabiah athletes to now leading the next generation.

Australia’s Head of Delegation Tom York said he is “absolutely thrilled” with the calibre of coaches that will be part of the 20th Maccabiah delegation.

He commented: “Having such renowned and experienced Australian coaches in variety of sports will give our athletes a great preparation and enhance their chances to bring home a medal or achieve a personal best.

“The popularity of the Maccabiah Games is growing with each Maccabiot and that is manifested by the willingness of such quality Australian coaches to be involved with the team.”

Jean-Paul de Marigny

Jean-Paul de Marigny

Headlining those selections is former Australia Olympic swimming coach John Rodgers, who brings a wealth of experience from the 1980, 1984 and 2008 Olympic coaching team for Australia, as well as the 2012 Games in London with Canada. Rodgers has also been to two Commonwealth Games, World Championships, has experience from the Australian Institute of Sport and is currently the Head Coach of the Noosa Swim Squad, training state and national level athletes.

Team sports will benefit from an extraordinary depth of coaching talent.

A former Hockeyroo will also be in Israel with Team Australia, with Claire Prideaux appointed to coach the men’s hockey outfit. Prideaux, a 1990 silver medallist at the World Championships, is currently on the board of Hockey Australia and has extensive coaching experience across Sydney. She is also the NSWIS High Performance Director since 2013.

Australia’s Open Men’s football side will be helmed by a formidable duo: Jean-Paul de Marigny and Boris Seroshtan. De Marigny is a former Socceroo and National Soccer League legend, who played under iconic Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson during his playing days at Scottish club Aberdeen. He has forged a reputation in the coaching sphere since, initially at the NSW Institute of Sport, at a raft of NSW’s strongest clubs, and most recently he was Kevin Muscat’s assistant coach as Melbourne Victory won the A-League championship and premiership double. Seroshtan, a head coach for Football Federation Australia at a National Training Centre in Victoria, brings with him extensive elite level coaching experience from across the country, and also with Maccabi.

Al Westover

Alan Westover

Tom York

Tom York

Our other football sides won’t miss out either. Timmy Purcell, a Manchester City and Ireland youth representative will coach the women’s side. He is well-known to the community in Melbourne as head coach of the North Caulfield senior women’s side and is also a head coach at the Harry Kewell Academy. Sydney City legend Alex Robertson returns for another stint with the Masters’ over-45s.

The rugby side will receive coaching insight from Mike Penistone, a well-travelled rugby diehard who has some of the game’s great minds on speed dial.

Before landing at the Eastern Suburbs Rugby Club and then opening his own rugby coaching consultancy business, Penistone has worked with academies and under-21s set-ups at Leicester Tigers and NSW Waratahs, following from extensive experience across England, including head coach at Nottingham.

The basketball set-up will have a distinct Melbourne Tigers feel to it, with two club icons joining Maccabi’s set-up. MAI welcomes back Warrick Giddey, who returns for another stint with the under-18 girls. Giddey is a club legend at the National Basketball League club, having played over 450 games, before coaching as an assistant for over a decade, including two championship wins from four grand finals.

He’ll be joined in Israel by the man in charge of the Tigers during that time, Alan Westover, who will coach our open men’s side. No one has been involved in more than the 670 games Westover, an NBL coach of the year and All Stars coach, has been involved with. With coaches who can call on Australian basketball luminaries like Brian Goorjian and Lindsay Gaze as colleagues, the hoops players will be in great hands. Both are currently involved in junior and academy coaching.

But Maccabi Australia has also looked within for outstanding leadership, and in David Rifkin (masters swimming), Anthony Goodridge (swimming team coach), Suzie Mordech (junior netball) and Brett Corrick (junior cricket) there are Maccabiah alumni returning with the clipboard in hand.

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