Israeli defender Alon Netzer has joined Irish Premier Division side Derry City.
The 23-year-old put pen to paper just days ahead of the start of the Irish season, and says he’s looking forward to playing in an “exciting league.”
Having started his career in Israel, Netzer spent last season in Romania with ASA Târgu Mureș in Romania. Speaking after watching City complete their pre-season with a 3-1 win against Dergview, he said: “I’m excited to be here and want to get started as soon as possible. I saw some players with good potential. I haven’t seen much of the League of Ireland, but I have heard it is an exciting league with lots of young players.”
Manager Kenny Shiels said: “We’re pleased to get him because we were low (in options) at the back. He’s played in Romania and in his native country Israel. I want to see him develop with us.”
The move wasn’t though welcomed by all, after one supporter took to social media where he called the signing “disgraceful”. Sending a tweet to the club’s official account, he said: “Absolutely disgraceful signing an Israeli”.
However, that view was in the minority, with other fans attacking the offensive remark. One read: “Welcome to Derry City F.C. Shouldn’t matter where he is from. If he’s good enough then that’s all that counts.”
A Celtic fan tweeted: “Over here Celtic had two Israelis who gave their all for the club and were much respected for their footballing skills and it didn’t matter where they come from”, while another, referring to problems encountered in Ireland, said: “Anger over an individual’s place of birth (something he had no control over) is narrow minded, just like the narrow mindedness that has divided our country”.