Maccabi League footballers return to action after the two-week winter break. Managers across the MSFL hope that their players return with no sign of a hangover or over-indulgence as a result of end-of-year celebrations.
As the oldest representative present at the North London Raiders Chanucah party, I made sure that the players were on their best behaviour. It was Diet Cokes all round although it’s clear that B team manager Rob Richman was a bit more daring during his recent stag weekend in Tenerife where he spent one day dressed up as Mickey Mouse.
It is feared that double-headers will play a big role in the second half of the season. The 51-team league has been severely hampered by the weather and all five divisions are playing catch-up. Redbridge Jewish Care A and Oakwood have been the worst affected, playing just three league games apiece.
An Essex derby featuring RJC and struggling Glenthorne United A is the perfect way to warm the cockles.
The JC MSFL Premier Division affair looks sure to be a nostalgic affair with several members of the RJC camp including Steve Summers and Adam Hakimi lining up against their former club.
Redbridge were one of the teams whose league position was affected by Bafana Bafana’s withdrawal from the league. It has left them in the relegation zone and with no wins to their name. Hendon United B know that victory against South Manx would lift them into third.
Match of the day comes in Division One where leaders Southgate Harmen A entertain nearest rivals North West Neasden A. Dan Uzan’s Southgate boys go into the clash with a one-point advantage but they have played two more games.
It will be a big test of Harmen’s promotion credentials with striker Alex Bourne keen to add to his 13 league goals.
Unbeaten Neasden will be looking to push on in 2010 and with top-scorer Alex Bowman having returned to fitness, the visitors to Ashmole School will arrive in confident mood.
There is also a crunch clash in Division Three where UJS Norstar A put their unbeaten record on the line against Woodford Wanderers.
The Stars have kept three clean sheets in five matches and know that they will have to be at their best to overcome a wounded Wanderers side for whom Maccabiah striker Mitch Hahn is the star man.
Oakwood will be looking to end North West Neasden A’s challenge for five pieces of silverware in the Peter Morrison Trophy.