With no Maccabi football until October 18, now seems a good time to look ahead to the 2011 European Maccabi Games in Vienna. Darryl Lee recently told me about an exciting new blueprint for Jewish football, to build on the success of our players at the 18th Games. The bar has certainly been raised over the past two and a half years and it’s vital that the standards are maintained.
The selection process for players and managers is still some months away but already, one or two who were not involved at the Jewish Olympics have stepped up to the plate. On the playing front, Neasden’s Lee Cash and Scott Shindler look strong candidates for Austria, with the squad set to feature some of the leading lights from the JC MSFL. But it’s the position of manager that interests me most. Having recently been selected to head the Rep team, Jamie Cole is an obvious candidate. London Lions boss Tony Gold told me that the post does not interest him, which possibly opens it up to the likes of Lions’ B joint-manager Gavin Stollar, who did well with the England squad at the last European Maccabi Football Trophy.
It will be interesting to see whether Jonathan Kestenbaum is tempted. Having come so close to gold at the Maccabiah, I suspect the former Hendon United man could be an option. Like Cole, Kestenbaum is a winner who lives and breathes football and the squad would be in wonderful hands if the organising committee opted for either.
And then there’s the new kids on the block; Redbridge’s Greg Bookman, Neasden B’s Sammy Carr and North London Raiders’ Rob Richman. The coming months will separate the men from the boys with Mitch Young and Richard Bronzite little more than rank outsiders at this stage.
London Lions will be looking to stretch their lead at the top of the Herts Senior County League Premier Division tomorrow when they take on third-place Baldock Town at St. Albans City’s Clarence Park. Manager Tony Gold is keen to keep the team’s feet on the ground after their unbeaten start, knowing that nothing is decided in October.
Rapid Banta have bid farewell to Adam Carter who is moving to Canada. Aliyah-bound Ben King Scott will also be missed. Temple Fortune’s Moroccan forward Alexander Mamouri has been given special dispensation to play in the second division of the Maccabi Masters League. A Fortune player since 1995, Yali has made 171 appearances for the club and stands sixth in the club’s all-time goal-scoring charts with 125 goals. Turning 42 in November, he has been given the green light to play a month earlier.
FC Team A’s Mitch Young wins my player of the month award. His nine-goal return from three starts kept him a step ahead of Harmen’s Alex Bourne and Hendon’s Greg Corin.
Jamie Cole, the rep team manager, is holding open trials on October 11 and 18 at Rowley Lane.