Maccabi prize guys hold their breath as red carpet awaits

By Danny Caro, March 11, 2010

The culmination of two years of Jewish sporting achievement will be recognised at the Maccabi GB awards on Sunday evening.

The Junior, Senior and Team accolades features a healthy spread of sports on the list of nominees. For me, the Junior category is the most intriguing with some top-class candidates in the reckoning.

Track & Field star Richard Goodman looks a good bet after putting himself on the map over the past two years. If you remember, he was my star of the 18th Maccabiah Games after bringing home double gold and only last week he became the Under 17 National Cross Country.

Tennis starlet Joshua Paris is another contender as is table tennis prodigy Zak Zilesnick.

Goodman will be one of many Jewish Olympics stars in attendance with another, Jo Ankier, swapping her running shoes for her best frock as she co-hosts the event alongside Graham Miller and Rob Nothman.

The 2008 individual winners – Joe Jacobson (senior) and Lara Nyman (junior) – have been shortlisted again, but to be honest, I would be surprised if either retained their title, especially with Jacobson hampered by injury this season.

● Jewish-owned Oldham Athletic have pulled off a first after clinching a deal to free-up sponsorship space on the touchline. Managing director Simon Corney, who is becoming increasingly frustrated at the club's failure to seal approval for a purpose-built 12,000 capacity ground in Failsworth, had the grass, where the assistant-linesmen run, replaced by astroturf with publicity woven into the surface.

● North West Neasden A have made three signings ahead of the close of the Maccabi League transfer window. Still involved in three competitions, they signed striker Jamie Shaw, Elliot Stern and Ben Lampert. Shaw, who until recently was playing for Glenthorne United A, joined following a short spell at Redbridge Jewish Care.

The signings were made as Jake Gottlieb and Tony Keterman have suspensions looming. Joint-manager Jamie Cole said: "We have been going through some difficult times in the past few weeks and we have had to try and pull everything out of the locker.

The manager and players don't become bad overnight and it isn't a fluke what we have achieved in the past. Our Neasden players would run through brick walls and the poor run has hurt them just as much as Daniel [Fox] and I."

● There is a real David versus Goliath clash in the Jewish FA Cup on Sunday when Neasden A host Division Four strugglers Blizzard Storm.

Neasden would win this tie nine times out of 10 but it's worth considering that Daniel Cole, the younger brother of joint-manager Jamie, and Daniel Fox will be sinking a bevvie or two together with several members of the squad celebrating their birthdays the night before the game.

Looking ahead to the clash, Blizzard striker Joe Stolerman said: "Neasden will be expecting us to park the team coach in front of the goal on Sunday but unfortunately we can't afford one. However if the ref allows us, we shall be playing a 2006 Nissan Micra and 2007 Toyota Aygo at centre-back, both regular members of Norrice Lea Synagogue."

● Maurice Goodman became Captain of Moor Allerton Golf Club and had his official Drive-In on Sunday. A huge supporter of the Club over many years, he was well supported by friends, family and a great number of Moor Allerton members.

● It's nice to see common sense prevail after it was confirmed that the majority of park pitches in the Manchester area will leave a decision as to whether or not a pitch is playable down to the discretion of the referee. London take note.

    Last updated: 1:03pm, March 11 2010