Maccabiah proves an opportunity for Jordi Swibel

July 16, 2017 by Jake Rosengarten
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To Jordi Swibel, football is life. The young Sydneysider trains daily, sometimes twice, in the hope of one day making the world game his career – and thanks to the Maccabiah Games, he has a big opportunity to do so.

Jordi Swibel outside Maccabi Tel Aviv’s training facilities following his first session.

The 18-year-old today began a trial with Israeli runners-up Maccabi Tel Aviv after being scouted following a huge tournament captaining Australia’s youth football side at Maccabiah.

Swibel’s side opened their campaign with an unbelievable come from behind victory over Argentina – in which the skipper scored a late winner. From then on, scouts were watching the young Australian forward and midfielder.

“We had played the first game against Argentina and I scored the winning goal. And he [the scout] came up to my dad afterwards and said that he was interested in me. He got our contact details and we met a few days later and said that there were a few opportunities at Maccabi Tel Aviv and from there it just snowballed. After that I kept working hard and playing well and the opportunity came and he asked me to come and trial.”

Swibel scored five goals in just six games in a stellar individual tournament, however, the young gun never thought that his form could lead to such a monumental opportunity.

“I knew there would be opportunities, because it was on a world stage. I knew there would be scouts coming to watch but I never thought that I’d be the one who got picked. So I was obviously very humbled and excited but I’ve still got a lot of hard work to do.”

“I was just really focusing on my game trying to help the team, first and foremost especially as the captain. I had to make sure the team was ready and the boys were ready.”

The Aussie, who plies his trade in Sydney with NPL1 side Hakoah Sydney East’s under 18 outfit, puts this opportunity and his achievements on the pitch down to one thing. Hard work.

Jordi Swibel dons Maccabi Tel Aviv’s training kit for the first time.

“Not just in football but in anything, hard work gets you a lot of places. As my coach Mark Gannon says a lot, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard enough.”

“Personally I’ve worked really hard to get where I am and I’m still not where I want to be. So I’ve still got a lot of hard work to do… I know that so far I deserve it because I’ve put in a lot of hard work.”

His youth football side’s motto “the one percenters” is personified by its skipper. Swibel is mature beyond his years and recognises the lengths to which he has to go if he is to achieve his dream of playing professional European football. In the pursuit of his dream, he has left no stone unturned – utilising the services of sprint coaches, nutritionists and personal trainers in order to improve each and every aspect of his game.

Swibel has played at a high level in Australia, having spent time with A-League champions Sydney FC as well as Hakoah, and the football mad teenager believed he fit in nicely on his first day trialling with the Europa League side.

“It was very professional, everyone takes their job very seriously and everyone loves football. It was a great environment for me to be in. The facilities were unbelievable – top notch, world class and you expect that From Maccabi Tel Aviv with the history that they have… I fit in quite well, although the language barrier was difficult. I felt good and the boys were very nice to me and the coaching staff were very good – I felt very comfortable.”

Today marked the Israeli side’s start to pre-season training for the 2017/18 season, and the Aussie enjoyed a thorough workout. This isn’t Swibel’s first trial with a European club, having previously spent time with English side Bury FC in 2015 and the former Cranbrook School student is keeping his head firmly screwed onto his shoulders.

“It’s only one trial and I’ve still got a lot of hard work to do – nothing has really been set in stone yet. So, I’m just keeping my head down, keeping focus but if the opportunity arises I’ll grab it with both hands. Because this is the closest thing to Europe for me and that’s one of my biggest goals.”

Swibel will return to Tel Aviv over the coming weeks to participate in further training sessions with the aim of signing a contract with the Israeli giants and is prepared to make the move abroad if all goes according to plan.

While the Maccabiah Games provide an opportunity for some to live out their sporting dreams, for others, the possibility of elite sport is very real and their trip to Israel provides a genuine chance of making their dreams a reality.


One Response to “Maccabiah proves an opportunity for Jordi Swibel”
  1. Rafi Plotkin says:

    Hatslacha Rabah for your future career

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