Israeli sport has taken a right old battering over the past year or so but at long last the clouds are starting to lift.
Julia Glushko’s run at the US Open has given the nation much hope following the poor showing at the London Olympics last year.
There’s also Yarden Gerbi who looks to be a real medal contender for the Rio Games in 2016. I doubt a world title has been won any faster.
Laetitia Beck is another one to look out for. She’s ranked 12th in Golf World magazine’s top 50 female players to watch for season 2013/2014.
The next few weeks also promises to be massive for Israeli football. Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv have been given a real chance to progress in the Europa League, while D-day is approaching for Eli Guttman’s troops.
I'm sad that Yossi Benayoun won’t be playing a part in the World Cup qualifying double-header, but I feel he only has himself to blame as he could have found a club by now.
Celtic’s capture of Eli Biton is a real plus, though. Having two Israelis playing Champions League football, against the likes of Barcelona, AC Milan and Ajax, is really good news for the national team and can only help them bridge the gap.
* Four MSFL keepers past and present lined-up for London Maccabi Vale in last weekend’s Chess Valley League match against Ickenham. Adam Solomons, Adam Brand, Russell Corin and I have a wealth of experience between the sticks and a safe pair of hands … or so you’d think. Only one chance went down between us, but I guess Russell had an excuse having played 90 minutes for Hendon United Sports Club A earlier that day.
* The big game in the MGBSFL this weekend sees Faithfold A take on Brady Maccabi A. Last season’s champions will be given a real test at Chase Lodge by the Morrison holders, but having come back to earn a point against Hendon with 10 men last Sunday, it’s a challenge they will relish.
Happy new year to one and all.