With league award ceremonies done and dusted, there is only one thing left to do. Here is Danny Caro's Team of the Year.
1. DAN GARMAN (Republic of Flixton) – Not many keepers can lay claim to scoring 24 goals in a lifetime, let alone one season. Garman impressed when he played outfield but there are few better between the sticks and he was head and shoulders the safest pair of hands in the MJSL. Needless to say, Stuart Delmonte and Tony Rosenberg have issued a major “hands-off” warning and who can blame them?
2. JORDAN NATHAN (Brady Maccabi A) - young, talented, committed and technically gifted. “The best young player in the Jewish league by a mile,” according to Brady joint-manager Josh Rosenfeld. He won the Peter Morrison Trophy and JC MSFL Young Player of the Year to cap a memorable first season in men’s football
3. Steven BERKE (Leeds Maccabi 1st) – rock, leader and a bit of a legend in the Leeds area. Captain marvel steered the team to their first ever non-Jewish League title
4. Guy MORRIS (London Lions) – impressed me every time I watched the Lions captain in action in the South Midlands League this season. Also caught the eye of his manager, Tony Gold, who named his as his player of the season. “Guy is a leader. We weren't the same team when he didn’t play. He’s an organiser who kept us solid and was very influential on the pitch." Don’t bet against him winning Maccabiah gold in Israel in July
5. Dan HOWARD (Faithfold A) – like a good wine, Howard is getting better with age. Has come on in leaps and bounds, and he thanks central defensive partner Alex Levack for his development. Helped his team win an historic double, and after winning JC MSFL Player of the Year, he told me: “It’s a big achievement and I feel very happy as this award has been voted for by my peers.”
6. Mike STRATTON (South Manchester Sports Club 1st) – the club’s Player of the Year. An integral part of South’s success in winning the Manchester Accountants League and reaching the Peter Morrison Trophy final
7. Dean FURMAN (Oldham/Doncaster/South Africa) – Football’s Mr Nice Guy enjoyed another memorable campaign, for club and country. He stepped up a level after making his debut for Bafana Bafana and was one of the stars of the Africa Cup of Nations. Look out for him on Sky Sports News as another big move beckons …
8. Sam SLOMA (London Lions) – scored a high number of goals from midfield and was in inspired form, helping Lions come through a crazy fixture schedule. At times he was the driving force and deserved to finish the season with a winners medal
9. Jamie KENT (Shirley Park) – Mr Goals won the JC MSFL Golden Boot for the second times. He saw off the challenge of Ben Zloof and Reiss Mogilner and there was double delight as he was also crowned the top player in Division One
10. Adam BOLLE (London Lions) – a barnstorming first full season for the club ended in style. Top-scorer and inspired the Lions won the SSML Division One title in a campaign where everything he touched turned to goals. Next stop Maccabiah. I’m sure the Germans won’t fancy marking him!
11. REISS MOGILNER (Brady Maccabi B) – last season’s JC MSFL Young Players of the Year enjoyed another memorable season, breaking the 30-goal mark, helping his team complete back-to-back titles and he was named top man in Division Two. Not bad for a midfielder. Division One defences will be shaking in their boots next season
MANAGER OF THE YEAR: TONY GOLD (London Lions) - there were a number of strong candidates - Zuriel Solomon, Stuart Delmonte & Tony Rosenberg, Ian Selwyn, Josh Rosenfeld and Joel Nathan - but Gold was the stand-out candidate for me after leading the Lions out of the Spartan South Midlands League Division One. He has taken the top Jewish team in the country into unchartered terrority - the Premier Division. Together with his coaches and players, he guided his team through the mother of all fixture pile-ups to win the pot of gold. It was some achievement.