Trials for the Great Britain Maccabiah Games cricket squad were recently held at Lord's, the home of cricket. It was great to catch up with some of the boys who three years ago came home with bronze, much to the surprise of competition organiser Stanley Perlman.
Prior to the net, which took place a day after England drew the opening test against South Africa, the boys got a glimpse of England legend Graham Gooch though we were not brave enough to get any cricket or hair tips.
Team GB boss Nigel Rothband cannot wait for a return to the Promised Land and some of his favourite fudge ice cream. Coach Michael Jacobs has enjoyed a great season with the bat, playing pinch-hitter at Malden Wanderers these days. Captain Darren Gerard only sent down a few deliveries as he acclimatises to life in the City.
Several players caught the eye of the selectors with former Notts 2s and Cambridge University batsman Mark Bott having impressed at the first trial in June. Southgate master-blaster Ben Hartman also looked the part.
Jeremy Mordrick was unable to attend. He was probably too busy rubbing shoulders with the likes of actor Ray Winstone and Joe Cole at his popular Woodford Green eaterie Rosso.
I was delighted to be selected for the final trial in Stanmore on September 3. I know my fitness is not where it should be or where I want it to be but have suffered several setbacks on the road to recovery. I will be working my backside off, quite literally I hope, to ensure that I'm in better shape for the big date as it would mean the world to me to be a part of the squad again.
Chivalry was the name of the game last weekend when London Maccabi Vale played Finchley. We came up against female player Sara Begg who some of the boys took a shine to.
Adam Brand was extremely apologetic after taking her apart with the bat while the rest of the married ones, myself included, chose to take a back seat as the singletons tried to charm her. Captain-for-the-day Jerome ‘Mustard' Colmans, Jonny ‘Calypso' Wynbourne and Elliott ‘eBay' Coulton missed the post-match interrogation.
It was clear that she went for the rugged shaven-headed look but Neil Lederman tried to woo her with the fact that she will be joining him at Loughborough University next month.
Young Sara supports Spurs and also plays hockey and it was fair to say that she is every man's dream - a girl who loves sport. Despite finishing with unflattering figures, she came away from the match with pride intact as her never-say-die attitude made her a great ambassador for the women's game. Much to our amusement, it was later revealed that she is in fact dating LMV teammate Richard Black.
I won the TFC (thanks for coming) award after being dismissed second ball. It's quite strange how I struggle to score runs in friendlies but save my best for competitive matches.
Hopefully that trend will continue when we take on Middlesex Sunday League Division One title rivals Stanmore at the Common in a game that Brand will miss.
This will be followed by the annual tour match against Hatfield Peverel which I'm led to believe is a wonderful day out with a runway of a wicket and world-class tea. The game will something of a family affair with Michael and Andy Okin two of the first names on the teamsheet.
Belmont & Edgware 1st host Birkbeck College as they look to stay out of the relegation zone. Simon Durban misses out through injury.
Last season's double winners North West Neasden A overcame rivals Hendon United A 2-1 in a pre-season friendly courtesy of a Daniel Levenfiche strike and an own goal. Neasden keeper Max Shields ensured victory with a last-minute penalty save.
Chigwell Athletic A have kept hold of striker Dean Ben Yosef. Chairman Richard Slater said: "It's a big boost for everyone at the club that Deano has committed to another season after being constantly tapped up during pre-season. It shows us he believes we are getting closer to lifting some silverware and wants to be a part of it."
The club will have to appoint a new captain after Daniel Castle joined London Maccabi Lions.
Speaking of whom, Lions C overcame Division Five new boys East London Knights 4-1 courtesy of strikes from Jonathan Green (2), Guy Marks and Ryan Fox.
Congratulations to Steve Feiger and wife Stephanie on the birth of daughter Emily. FC Team player-manager Mitch Young toasted double delight after getting engaged to Sophie Marco and qualifying as a tax manager.
Spare a thought for die-hard Spurs fan Colin Shack. Proud owner of the Lilywhites' new home kit, he was quick to get his favourite player Robbie Keane's surname printed on the back. The only problem is that Robbie is now a red and, consequently, Colin saw red and feels just as cheesed off as chairman Daniel Levy.