Barnet made three loan signings on deadline day. But I wasn’t one of them, much to my disappointment. Playing alongside Director of Football Paul Fairclough at their spanking new £4 million training complex in Edgware, Bees chairman Tony Kleanthous and manager Ian Hendon were among keen on-lookers watching a Maccabi Masters Select XI take on Maccabi Moscow in conditions that suited the visitors.
As an avid Barnet fan, it would have been a dream move, but there was no fairytale, despite a decent performance in goal in front of England C national team boss Fairclough.
The Russians used one of the oldest tricks in the book in a bid to make me lose focus. They strategically placed a leggy female photographer within eyeshot and it worked a treat as we were humbled 4-2 with Jon Cohen and Adam Lustigman were our marksmen. I can’t wait for the return leg.
More than a dozen JC Maccabi League and cup matches fell victim to the weather again last weekend although the reliable pitches of Redbridge Sports Centre and Fairlop enjoyed a full programme. My game beat the elements and we were greeted by surprisingly good conditions at West Hendon Playing Fields. Prior to that, I was inundated by calls and texts from some of my North London Raiders team who were clearly hoping that the match would be cancelled so they could stay in bed. I even got one from photographer Ben Angel who was stranded on the North Circular attempting to find a game.
The morning started badly as we were locked out of the car park and changing rooms. I thought that Hendon United were trying on the mind games but referee David Nathan, who was my first manager at EBOR Eagles back in the day, ensured me that no underhand tactics were being used.
The game itself was a gripping contest with Dovid Korman pulling the strings for the Harriers. Our striker, Jacob Gold, who went on to score a hat-trick, was clearly put off by the sight of the Wembley arch in the background when lining up to take a penalty. I think his shot is still travelling. Needless to say he won’t be taking another one for a while.
While several professional clubs are struggling financially, it is good to see some Jewish teams securing their futures by securing sponsorship. Working together with JAMI, FC Team will undertake a series of fund-raising activities with proceeds divided with the charity. The deal was struck by FC Team president and fitness coach Peter Moss, who has worked at JAMI House in Golders Green for the last decade as a group facilitator and befriender.
London Lions defender Danny Cole, who plays for North West Neasden on a Sunday, has staked his claim to being Britain’s fittest Jewish footballer after registering 17.4 on the bleep test.