I don’t buy into the idea that the MSFL must introduce non-Jewish players and, judging by some of our letters, neither do others. And the view from Jewish football’s top brass at last weekend’s cup final is: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Peter Moss’ article last week aroused debate on our messageboard but the Maccabi League family has puffed out its chest in support of a much-loved institution. As expected, the football fraternity pulled closer, with only a ringing endorsement of the world’s biggest Jewish league ringing in my ears.
I am 100 per cent against Moss’ suggestion and disagree with his belief that most players are not good enough to play elsewhere. Those wishing to should be encouraged to do so, while footballers who choose to play among friends and family should continue within a environment that they are comfortable in. After all, several players from his FC Team club still choose to play in the league as well as representing their club in the Middlesex Saturday League. I have seen enough talent around this season, let alone over the past 19, to convince me Jewish football is in good shape. If North West Neasden’s Matt Stock and former Wingate midfielder Daniel Stanton are happy to ply their trade in the Sunday league, that is surely endorsement enough.
Having played non-Jewish football, I can tell you that the banter and social demands are very different and it isn’t for everyone.
The MSFL is loved for what it is, being a Jewish league. It will always have its knockers but it is the Theatre of Dreams for your average Jewish footballer and that is good enough for me.
It is interesting to note that Maccabi Australia Incorporated has given clubs until the end of 2010 to comply with its constitution and ensure their playing lists are exclusively Jewish.
North West Neasden A need just a point against basement battlers Montana Boca United A to retain the Premier Division title. The Peter Morrison Trophy winners have named a full-strength squad with the exception of the injured Ricky Kennet and Sammy Ross.
Joint-manager Jamie Cole said: “It is so important that we keep to the standard we played against Chigwell A in the quarter-final of the Cyril Anekstein Cup. We cannot relax, and there is everything to play for. We have to try and keep on top form in every game.”
There is an intriguing winner-takes-all clash in store on Sunday morning when Faithfold B take on Hendon United B in Division One. Faithfold need a point to avoid relegation and their cause has been helped by the fact that their A and C teams have no game, allowing manager Rob Shuman a big pool of players to choose from. Promoted Hendon need to win by three goals in order to pip South Manx A to the title.
I have been dusting down my whites in preparation for my first cricket match of the season. As someone who hates nets, I have not picked up a bat since last September but am confident of making regular contributions for London Maccabi Vale.
Two of the most successful teams in recent Jewish cricket history go head-to-head when Casual Nomads entertain defending champions MAL in the Maccabi Sunday League.