Jonathan Kestenbaum, the man who led Team GB to its first Maccabiah Open football medal for almost 50 years, has decided to take a sabbatical from all football duties in the coming season.
Kestenbaum came within seconds of steering GB to gold in Israel two months ago before losing the final on penalties against Argentina. He has also relinquished his duties as manager of the JC MSFL Rep Team.
“It was a difficult decision,” he said. “But for the moment, the right one. I feel extremely fortunate to have had an extended association with Jewish football.”
Kestenbaum helped Hendon United A win back-to-back titles including the Premier Division in their first season. He was also named Maccabi League manager of the year. He said: “The privilege of winning the League as both player and manager, representing the League in the Rep side as both player and manager and representing GB in the Maccabiah as both player and manager have meant that Jewish football has been an important part of my life. But it’s time to take a break and my family have heartily endorsed that.
“In many ways it feels appropriate to go, particularly as my last game saw a GB side win an Open football medal in the Maccabiah for the first time in almost 50 years.”