Inter Tel Aviv: A Short History

In the summer of 2014, a group of Olim created Inter Tel Aviv, an amateur football team to compete in the Olim league, now known as the International Football League of Israel. The founders were friends from the community of new immigrants in Israel and the majority worked together at 90min/Minute Media.


Much like the current Inter Aliyah squad, the team was made up from a number of different nationalities, incorporating cultures and languages from across the globe...


Former Swiss semi-professional footballer Jerome Katz acted as Inter's Head Coach, running the weekly training sessions, whilst also playing upfront. He was joined by fellow countrymen Cedric Membrez (who would go on to serve as Inter Aliyah's first fitness coach), defender Damian Browarnik and striker Mike Langer.

There was a strong English contingent in the team throughout the years, with close friends Omri Elani, Martin Orson and Sam Sank having made Aliyah and serving in the IDF together. They were to bring even more of their 'mates' to join, including Yoni Yeruham, James Fattal, Sam Silverberg, Conor Myers, Gav Hill and Ronnie Cohen.


The rest of Europe was also very much present, with German (David Schumann, Dave Rajber and Manu Schultz), French (Manu Ayoun and Jacques Botbol), Hungarian (Beni Polnauer) and Italian (Ofir Djerbi and Michael Mordakhai) representatives featuring from the very start.


Inter Aliyah has a very strong South American presence nowadays and those roots started during the Inter Tel Aviv dynasty. Powerful centre-back Yossi Milhelm hailed from Venezuela and striker Dani Markovits from Ecuador, whilst both Argentina (Brian Goldfarb and Ariel Benzaquen) and Brazil (Amir Szuster and Vitor Lansky) were also part of the team's makeup. Yona Dorfzaun (Ecuador) and Jaime Kauffman (Peru) joined in 2015 and would continue with Inter Aliyah.


One of the team's star players was Angolan midfielder Airton Manuel and he lined up alongside the American trio of goalkeeper Sam Friedman, Jon Toub and Craig Smitheram.

Top row (from left to right): Jacques Botbol, Beni Polnauer, Yossi Milhelm, Martin Orson, Yoni Yeruham, Sam Friedman, Brian Goldfarb and Cedric Membrez.

Bottom row (from left to right): Jerome Katz, Ariel Benzaquen, Conor Myers, Sam Sank, Jaime Kauffman, James Fattal and Manu Ayoun.

Such a diverse and multicultural group of footballers can be hard to handle, but the team excelled both on and off the pitch. The Olim league at the time featured around 10 teams including legendary but now-defunct clubs such as England FC, Jerusalem, Modiin and Jaffa, while a number of teams continue to play in the IFLI including Raanana Olim, Aviv City and Etz Ashdod.


In total, Inter Tel Aviv played two seasons in the league; finishing in 2nd place in their inaugural campaign with Manu Schultz ending the season as the team's top goalscorer. The following year the team went one better and finished the season as champions of the Olim League, almost completing a League-Cup double before losing in the cup final to a 10-man Raanana.


Following the season's end, a summer of transition took place both for Inter Tel Aviv and for the Olim League itself. The latter would disband, paving the way for another league to take its place as the primary address for amateur football for Olim in Israel, the IFLI.

The team celebrates becoming champions and winning the Olim League.

For Inter Tel Aviv there were even bigger changes at hand. The arrival of Ricky Horvath from Ecuador, combined with a constant desire to enter the team into the professional division of Israeli football, saw Inter Tel Aviv morph into Inter Aliyah in the summer of 2016.


Now officially registered for Liga Gimmel - Israel's 5th tier of football - many of the guys would continue to represent Inter as the 2016/17 campaign began. The coaching trio of Jerome, Schumi and Cedric managed the team on the pitch, whilst Ricky became club president.


Sam Sank carried on as the team's captain and he was joined by the likes of Sam Friedman, Jon Toub, Yona Dorfzaun, Raz Hemo, Jaime Kauffman, Beni Polnauer, James Fattal, Sam Silverberg and Dani Markovits as players in the original Inter Aliyah squad list.


Inter Tel Aviv #COYI

Top row (from left to rght): Martin Orson, Ofir Djerbi, Yossi Milhelm, Brian Goldfarb, Mike Langer, Dani Markovits, Amir Szuster, Craig Smitheram, Ariel Benzaquen and Jerome Katz.

Bottom row (from left to right): David Schumann, Sam Sank, Sam Friedman, Omri Elani, James Fattal, Airton Manuel and Manu Schultz.


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