Swibel in form for Marconi after Israeli stint
After challenging himself in the second half of last year by playing for Israeli second division football club Hapoel Nof HaGalil, 23-year-old striker Jordi Swibel is back in Sydney, doing what he loves best – scoring goals.
DIPPING his toes into the Israeli professional football scene last year was an equally rewarding and frustrating experience for 23-year-old striker Jordi Swibel, who is back home in Sydney, scoring goals for his new club, the Marconi Stallions.
The former Hakoah junior was recruited by Israeli second division club Hapoel Nof HaGalil, having played in 13 A-League Men’s games in recent years off the bench for Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers, and scoring 23 goals in the NPL NSW competition.
After a bright start in Israel last August, circumstances changed for Swibel leading up to the mid-
season break in mid-November, and he made the difficult decision to return to Australia.
Reflecting on that period, Swibel told The AJN , “It was a very testing experience in Israel, not only in terms of football, but also lifestyle.
“It was the first time I’d lived on my own, and it was in a different country.
“But it was great to experience the very different style of football in Israel … it is very aggressive and fast-paced – they don’t hold back at all.”
Swibel – who gained Israeli citizenship – scored goals regularly for the team in their pre-season, including a goal in a knockout Israel State Cup match versus a top-tier team.
“I made things work on the pitch, scored goals, and was doing quite well, but then we had a change of coach [several rounds into the Israeli Liga Leumit 2022/23 season],” Swibel said.
“Even though I scored a goal in the new coach’s first match [in a round 5 win over Hapoel Rishon Lezion], he kind of then selected players whom he knew from a previous stint at the club, so I struggled to get game time.
“I made a decision on what was best for my football, and the timing was right for me to return home.”
Swibel was excited and grateful to earn a contract with Marconi, “a massive NPL club with a very proud history in Australian football, which has produced many Socceroos players and captains”.
“It was such a good opportunity – especially with plans [by Football Australia] for a national second tier competition next year – and the club’s coaching staff and players have been so good to me.”
Marconi have won two of their first three games so far this season, and Swibel has three starts, and a goal tally of three.
He scored a brace in a 5-0 round two thrashing of Sydney FC at the Palace [Marconi’s home ground], and last Friday night, he scored again in a 4-0 away win over the Wollongong Wolves.
The latter goal was a 67th minute beauty, with Swibel running onto a deft Domenic Costanzo pass, before sliding the ball under keeper Tomas Butkovic.
Hopeful of putting himself into a position to earn another A-League contract down the track, Swibel said his goal this year is “to stay fit, keep scoring goals, and help Marconi make the finals, and win the title”.