goals for galilee ….

One of the classic narratives in football – indeed, in sports generally – is that of the club or team representing a hard-scrabble community or dispossessed minority overcoming the odds to win the league or cup/defeat the symbol of oppression/etc. So when Bnei Sakhnin, (“The Sons of Sakhnin”), a team from a poor Arab town in Israel which was the scene of fierce battles over land confiscation in the 1950s, won Israel’s State Cup in 2004 and thus the right to represent Israel abroad in the UEFA cup the following year, you just knew the movie and book deals were in the works. The potential for mythology made it inevitable.

Jerrod Kessel and Pierre Klochendler in fact did both the movie and the book: Goals for Galilee is simply the manuscript form of their documentary of the same name. Using the classic “follow a team for a season” format, the authors use the rhythm of a season to show the highs and lows of both the squad and its fans in the season following their State Cup triumph, when the club was both fighting to maintain its Premier League status and compete abroad in Europe.

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