07 Oct DERBY COUNTY FORWARD NICK BLACKMAN IS LOVING LIFE ON LOAN AT MACCABI TEL AVIV
After a fitness test in 37C that left him thinking that he might keel over, then came the sharing of tales as Nick Blackman settled in as the new boy in a foreign dressing room.
A team-mate was quick to recall how, soon after Robert Earnshaw also arrived at Maccabi Tel Aviv a few years ago, training was interrupted when the air-raid sirens went off. “One of the boys pretended to run and Robert started running after him, he didn’t know what to do,” Blackman says. “They said they were joking with Robert but he got quite scared. Nothing like that has happened to me.”
Humour is one way to cope when living under the threat of a possible attack and Blackman, who joined the Israeli club on loan from Derby Country in the summer, has an appreciation of the sensitives in different cultures. Nick is Jewish and was born in Salford, but with roots in the Netherlands, Poland and Barbados. His grandfather survived Auschwitz and his grandmother converted to the religion when she lost her family in the war and was adopted by a Jewish family in the Netherlands.
English is the first language at Maccabi Tel Aviv, followed by Spanish, which Blackman has started to learn. He can speak a little Hebrew and learnt to read the language for his Barmitzvah at the age of 13. There are 11 nationalities in the squad.
Nick is enjoying football and life in Tel Aviv. Here’s an update on how it’s all going…