Just days before the biggest game of my life, I received the news that confirms my worst fears. I have osteoarthritis in several parts of my body. I’ve been waking up in pain for the last few months and received the dreaded prognosis that explains so many things, including the fact that I am not a hypochondriac. And even though depression is one of the possible complications, I promise to keep my head up and deal with the ailment to the best of my ability.
The strange thing is that the pains in my neck, hip and ankle virtually disappear when I holiday in the hot climes of Tel Aviv, and although emigrating would improve matters somewhat, it is not on the agenda at the moment.
The easy option would be to retire from playing sport but at 36, and having recently returned from ankle problems caused by the 2001 London Marathon, I’m not ready to do that just yet and never admit defeat. And I don’t want spend my Sunday mornings ferrying around my children to parties.
This weekend I will come face to face with some of the leading lights of the JC MSFL as I line up for North London Raiders A against League Cup holders London Maccabi Lions A. Trying to keep the likes of player-manager Andy Myers, Aviel Schwarz, Tony Gold and Michael Pearson at bay is easier said than done but I’ll give it my best shot.
The last time I played in a match of this magnitude was in my early days at North West Neasden A when we dumped the all-conquering Scrabble team out of the cup. I was hero for the day, saving three penalties in a shoot-out and scoring the decisive one past Adam Solomons.
I’m not the only one in the wars. London Lions’ Josh Newman broke his toe whilst scoring against Bovingdon. Lions B’s James Stanley played through the pain barrier against Bafana Bafana after having four wisdom teeth removed. Montana Boca United A striker Trevor Henen is out for six weeks after breaking his collarbone.
I was sad to hear about the demise of the AJY Football League which has performed many years of wonderful service to youngsters.
Although the current incumbents have made their intentions clear about standing down, I urge football-loving adults, ex-players and parents of players to stand up and ensure the league does not disappear. Like thousands of Jewish youngsters, the league gave me my first taste of competitive football and it would be a big blow to the community if it ceased to exist.
The MSFL Management committee would like to confirm that contrary to previous reports, the two matches postponed due to the pro-Israel rally will be rearranged at a later date. Furthermore, the clubs involved will not be disadvantaged.
Manchester Maccabi 1sts will play FC United in a friendly at Brooklands to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.
Southgate Harmen A manager Dan Uzan appeared to lose the plot when commenting on last week’s cup win over FC Team A, he said: “I think we deserved all three points.”
Several teams will be affected by the GB Maccabiah Open football training session with North West Neasden A worst-hit as Lee Cash, Matt Stock, Daniel Cole and Daniel Stanton miss the Peter Morrison Trophy second round clash against Faithfold C on Sunday.
See Danny Caro’s weekend round-up at thejc.com