So in contrast to last season, the domestic silverware in London has been shared around. Hendon United Sports Club A, treble winners last year, finished empty-handed, but manager David Garbacz sounds more determined than ever to get back on track in season 2013/14.
I believe the loss of Ben Lauffer, Josh Bentley and Paul Bentley – three match-winners - hurt them more than they realised and it’s clear they need to bring in a couple of top quality reinforcements.
Newly-crowned champions Faithfold A have been the model of consistency, losing just once in the league on their way to the double. Manager Zuriel Solomon recruited well, capitalising on North West Neasden’s fall from grace by adding Elliot Stern, along with Mike Pearson and Sam Reeves to his squad.
Brady Maccabi A have also turned into a real powerhouse, with new faces Ben Joseph, Jordan Nathan, Bradley Sharp and Marc Lazare turning them into an irresistible force in the Jewish FA Cup. I can see them being there or thereabouts in all competitions again next season.
London Maccabi Lions A’s progress has been well-documented and with Andy Landesberg and coach James Gershfield leading the challenge of the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup winners, I expect next season’s JC MSFL title race to be much tighter.
And with Redbridge Jewish Care, Oakwood, arguably the first port of call for the top players leaving the Manchester area, FC Team A and Raiders all set to strengthen, there’s already plenty to look forward as managers across the league start browsing the transfer market in a bid to bring in some top quality signings.
* News of Brady Maccabi’s historic victory in the Peter Morrison Trophy reached as far as Scotland. The team was sponsored by brothers Michael and Brian Green, with the red jerseys emblazoned with the Jewish Care Scotland logo in memory of their late mother, Yvette, who worked tirelessly as a volunteer for the charity.
There was much nachas in the Green household after the game as Michael’s son-in-law, Jon Ellis, and Brian’s son, Jonathan, scored in the final. Michael Green said: “Our father, Aubrey, was in ‘shpilkes’ in Glasgow upon hearing the result and we know that mum’s memory spurred the team on to victory.”
* I'm looking forward to playing my first game of cricket in almost three years when I return to action for London Maccabi Vale in their Middlesex Sunday League opener against Harefield CC this weekend. The old limbs may struggle to warm up amid the cold breeze, but I just hope I score more runs than sweaters I’m planning to wear ...