בעוד אנחנו עסוקים בלהתלהב ולעוף על עצמנו אחרי הראיון ההיסטורי ב BBC, פנה אלינו Simon Yaffe, כתב ה Jewish Telegraph – (עיתון יהודי נפוץ מאוד בבריטניה), בבקשה לראיון בעיתון. כמובן שהסכמנו!!! (למי להוציא חשבונית???)
מצ״ב הראיון כאן במלואו:
While many Israelis choose to watch the high and mighty of European football, Perry Shaler prefers the game at a lower level. For the 36-year-old loves nothing more than taking in a game at his beloved Yeovil Town or Accrington Stanley.
And so fervent is his passion fort the lower tiers of English football, he and friend Oren Vilner set up The Cinderella Men Project, where he takes fellow Israelis to watch games in England.
Perry, who lives in Pardes Hanna, northern Israel, told me: “Unfortunately, lower division football clubs are not so popular here compared with such teams as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund.
“Israelis do like the glamorous clubs with their hundreds of thousands of supporters and full stadiums. “However, there are many people my age who play the Football Manager game, so they know all about the Football League clubs and are really enthusiastic to know more.”
Perry, who was raised in Rehovot, had his interest in lower league English football piqued 20 years ago. He recalled: “When Oren and I were kids, we played a PC game called Manchester United: Premiership Champions. “We loved it because it was the first one to have full licensed team names and player profiles. “I chose Yeovil Town and Oren chose Macclesfield Town, totally randomly.
“After many weeks of playing all night, we swore that when we were adults we would visit those clubs. “When we reached 30, our wives bought us an open flight ticket to anywhere in the world. “Instead of choosing Thailand or Brazil as our destination, we chose our beloved clubs to visit, so we fulfilled our oath.”
It was during an FA Cup second round tie between Accrington Stanley and Gillingham in 2010 that Perry decided to set up The Cinderella Men Project.
He said: “During half-time, Martin Edmundson, the commercial manager of Stanley, introduced us to the supporters on the pitch.“It was the moment we understood we were doing something great for football and for us.
“The first aim was to visit as many football clubs as we could before we are too old to do it. “Now, the aim is to expose as many Israelis to these kind of tours so that they can be part of it.”
As well as Accrington, Perry and Oren have visited Millwall, Bath City, Exeter City, Plymouth Argyle, Torquay United, Yeovil Town, Charlton Athletic, Stockport County, Nantwich Town, Chester, Vauxhall Motors, Carlisle United, Northampton Town, Lincoln City, Buxton, Macclesfield Town, York City, Whitby Town, Wycombe Wanderers, Hitchin Town and Cheltenham Town.
Perry, a graphic designer, was even at Huish Park, the home of Yeovil, to see his team clinch promotion to the Championship following a 2-2 draw with Crawley Town, in March, 2013. His last match in England was on a visit in October, when he went to watch Cheltenham Town v Braintree Town in the National League. He also visited Wycombe, Charlton and Hitchin on the same trip.
Perry, who is married to Lea and father to eight-year-old Shelly and Barak, five, said: “My friends are in love with my project and always ask when our next tour will be. “Some of them were cynical at first, but after they saw the buzz, they really wanted to take part. “Lea is supporting me all the way because she sees my enthusiasm when I even start to speak about the project — she is really proud of me.”
His next target is to write a book which covers the anecdotes and memories he and Oren collected on their visits to England. They also run a Facebook page which is followed by 1,000 people. Even in Israel, Perry has chosen not to support one of the country’s Premier League clubs. Instead he follows Maccabi Sha’arayim, who are locked in a promotion battle to win a place in Liga Leumit — Israeli football’s second tier. “Maybe when my daughter and son are old enough, they can be my companions when I come to England on one of my tours,” Perry laughed.