MOSS v MIRON – 2 Jews battling it out in the A-League

March 4, 2011 by David Weiner-Maccabi NSW
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For any followers of Australian football among our readers, there’s a fantastic sub-plot to the A-League preliminary final between Central Coast Mariners and Gold Coast United on the weekend.

On United’s bench is the flamboyant Israeli coach Miron Bleiberg, and on the Mariners bench, two-time Australian Maccabiah representative (1997, 2001) and 2006 Maigs captain Phil Moss will be barking instructions as the assistant coach to former Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.

Two Jewish coaches matching wits for a spot in the grand final against Brisbane Roar.

moss.jpgMoss, formerly head coach at State League club Manly United, told Maccabi News that his first season in the A-League – where his club finished second on the table, doing so with a young, unheralded side – has been a great learning curve.

“It’s been great; very challenging but very rewarding at the same time.

“We’ve had a fantastic season, regardless of what happens over the next two weeks.

“It’s a big step up from the State League, there’s a lot more detail in preparation and a lot more variation in sessions because you train every day; you need to keep the players’ minds active.

“One of the main reasons I left Manly was to work with Graham Arnold and learn from him. He’s learnt from the best (Socceroos coaches Guus Hiddink and Pim Verbeek) in the last few years, so it was important my first move away from the State League was to a stable club a head coach I could learn a lot from. I feel like I made the right move.”

Moss, and indeed Arnold’s highlight, has been the success his side has had with the young players that it gambled on before the season. Moss agrees that the standard of the league this year has jumped, and attributes it to the quality of imports raising the bar, as well as the crop of youngsters who have gotten a taste across the league.

This week though, it’s a sudden death tie for Moss’ Central Coast against Miron’s Gold Coast. And the cheeky Israeli thinks he’s already got it won.

082479-miron-bleiberg.jpg“I hadn’t met Miron before this year but I’ve had a couple of chats with him. He’s got his knockers but I think he’s great for the game.

“You need characters and people that generate headlines.

“Arnie does that in a certain way; everyone wants to know what Arnie’s about. And Miron creates his own headlines with his statements, saying things like Gold Coast are invincible.

“It’s great to have a guy like that for the media and it’s great because we don’t have to do much motivating of our players.

“He’s a lovely guy though and he’s done well – taken a brand new franchise to the finals twice in a row.”

olyroos3 \'07.jpg

Moss (L), alongside Arnold, during an Olyroo training session in 2007.

Moss is contracted to the Mariners for three years, as is Arnold, and he is excited by where the coaching journey can take him.

“I’m an ambitious coach. I don’t intend to be an assistant for the rest of my days but I also know where I’m at.

“I’ll spend three years minimum working with Arnie and see where it takes me.

“I’m very open minded and a lot of doors have opened in Asia now with our involvement in the AFC (Asian confederation). So you never know where coaching can take you.”

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