With four months until the start of the 18th Maccabiah Games, I received an unexpected call. I’d previously been pinning my hopes on another late call-up into the Great Britain cricket team and had also tipped off Masters football manager Darryl Lee that, as I would probably be in Israel reporting, he could do worse than to register me as a player with selected keepers Danny Jacobs and Adam Solomons more injury-prone than me.
However, I could not foresee receiving a random email from Maccabi Scotland midfielder Laurence Judah, asking if I knew of any experienced stoppers who had a presence and a British passport. “You’re talking to one”, I replied.
This is not a late Purim spiel but I’ve started learning the words to Flower of Scotland should Hibs legend Alan “Dicksy” Dickenson, the Head of Senior Football, require my services in Israel this summer. In terms of additional qualifications, Kenny Dalglish is my football idol and I recently watched the film Braveheart and tried on a couple of kilts.
Two years ago in Rome, Englishmen Danny Berliner and Yoav Lebens donned the navy blue futsal shirt at the European Maccabi Games so if they can do it, why can’t I?
I actually prefer the Scottish national anthem to God save the Queen in any case although I haven’t quite decided if I want my nickname to be Jock or McCaro.
I spent some quality time with Team JLGB joint-founder Adam Shelley on Tuesday. We reflected on our favourite MSFL memories on the way up to Anfield for the Champions League match against Real Madrid. Adam recalled how JLGB were once the Crewe Alexandra of the Maccabi League, giving some now established players, including Matt Davis, Ben Wulwik and Craig Phillips their first taste of men’s football. Upon our arrival in Liverpool, the pre-match atmosphere gripped us as the nerves set in. We were treated to a football extravaganza with the big match memorabilia going like hotcakes.
We were even brave enough to accept a lift in a taxi driven by an Everton fan, hoping that he’d take us to the right groud. Once inside, I rubbed shoulders with England manager Fabio Capello, Israel boss Dror Kashtan, who like me was disappointed to see Yossi Benayoun laid low by injury, and sat next to Reds favourites John Aldridge and Ian St. John.
It was an historic occasion with the battle of the Galacticos a match I was honoured to attend.
Montana Boca United A joint-manager Marc Ziedman was given the silent treatment on the way home from Manchester after suffering a bizarre injury. Protesting a decision on the sidelines, he threw his arms up in anger and disclocated his shoulder. Ziedman went in an ambulance to Bury Hospital, delaying the majority of his teammates by five hours.
Tony Gold and Andrew Myers will be missing for London Maccabi Lions A’s Premier Division double-header against Montana Boca United A.
The Team GB women’s football squad, competing at the Maccabiah Games for the first time this summer, are holding a fundraiser at The Adelaide Pub in Swiss Cottage on Sunday. Part of the proceeds will go towards disabled youngsters in sport.
Three bands, 17 girls, one manager and two coaches along with special guests will be present. For details email: Maccabigbwomensfootball@googlemail.com.
A hilarious script, directed and co-written by Wingate & Finchley assistant-manager Ben Winston and involving the England football team and funnyman James Corden, will be part of the BBC’s Comic Relief tonight.
This week’s column is dedicated to Dr Carl Irwin. Flat on my back with a disc problem, he clicked me into place and enabled me to help North London Raiders A reach the quarter-finals of the Peter Morrison Trophy after humbling former winners Manchester Maccabi.