Jamie Cole, the new manager of the JC MSFL Rep team, has told the JC what it means to be handed the reins from Jonathan Kestenbaum.
The North West Neasden joint-manager hopes to become only the second man to lead the Maccabi League to victory in the London Inter-League Cup.
As a boss, he has won all the major honours in Jewish football including the Peter Morrison Trophy, JC MSFL Premier Division, with two different clubs, JC Cyril Anekstein Cup and the Manchester Jewish Soccer League.
Cole said: “First and foremost, I am aware of the importance of the Rep Team side and what it personifies not only from a footballing point of view but also how the players and managers conduct themselves as it is a representation of the Jewish Community.
“Football is the language of the world and is one that can bring different communities together. Great friendships are made on the football field and it is a great forum in which to earn ones respect, and I believe that if it can change at least one person’s attitude towards the Jewish people for the better then it can change a whole generations and that is the greatest thing that we could ever hope to achieve in our lives.
“Although never having fully managed a rep side before, I have been able with, Oakhill in Manchester, Oakwood and Neasden in London to bring together a pool of players who have never played with each other before, and bring instant success. My teams have been filled with quality individuals and I have been able to bring them together and work as a team.
“This is similar to a Rep side which would be filled with wonderful individuals and it is merely a question of making them work as one. I feel that my man management skills and youthful style and exuberance rubs off on my teams.
“I believe that I am able to breed confidence and although respecting the opposition, I have never feared them. Often, that has been a problem with Rep sides in the past and Jewish football in general. There are many talented footballers in the Jewish football leagues. They often tend to fear the opposition and pay them too much respect. That is one thing that I have always tried to avoid with my sides and is something I intend to make a feature of this current team. I feel that the team will respect me as my record as a manager is one that breeds respect and confidence and these two components are vital weapons that will bring success to the Rep side.
“I will pick the best players no matter who they play for. How often have we all read the Rep Team side is made up of all of the usual suspects and it is all politics and they only look at Premier Division sides and the team is only picked based on who they are. People will not be able to make such accusations about this side. My team will be made up of the best players and it doesn't matter if they are playing in the Premier Division or the fifth division. If they are good enough, then I will select them. There would be no favourites in my side.
“I feel that it would be one of the greatest honours to manage the Rep side and that I could do the job the justice that it deserves in all respects. It is an important feature of the Jewish calendar and one that all players, managers and supporters look forward to.”
Cole has appointed Darren Yarlett as coach of the rep team. “I’m delighted that Darren has accepted the chance to join me. There are few people in the MSFL with his experience, knowledge and technical ability. His talent and background will be major assets in this campaign. I am also looking to bring on an assistant-manager and will do this shortly.”