The season has gone well so far but with the icy conditions that we endured last weekend and the forecast for the next few weeks, I would suspect that many matches will be cancelled.
All of our teams have now been eliminated from the FA and London FA competitions but it is fair to say that most have given a good account of themselves and I hope that they have benefited from the experience.
We still are running a strong league with 52 teams in membership and let no-one convince you that anything else is the case.
I have read in the Jewish News that the league is set for massive changes. As the league’s chairman, I am very surprised to hear of this for I feel sure that I might have known. Any changes are for the teams to decide at a formal meeting and there is nothing on the table of this nature. So let me say that this is pure talk and speculation. Our league is operating extremely well at the moment and may well need some fine-tuning but certainly nothing more. In any event, the league has to comply with the FA Standard Code of Rules and any deviation from these would not be permitted.
It would be far more beneficial if time were spent trying to develop raising the standard of play through coaching courses, etc. There are many on offer and all that needs to be done is to contact the LFA or peruse the County handbooks for these.
I also would like to touch on the subject of referees. How many of you stop to think how lucky you are to have your games covered by match officials every week. This league, through the good office of Martin Fox, strives to ensure that this is the case but some of the attitudes towards them especially from Managers and team officials at times is nothing short of disgraceful and to remonstrate with them after the game has ended really has to cease.
The league is about to commence its Representative team programme and with the appointment of Danny Berg as manager, I am sure you will join me in wishing him, his assistant Mitchell Young and the squad every success. The players always give of their all and they deserve your support so try and come along and do just that.
I said in my last article in June that ‘I was looking forward to a better season at West Ham’. Well, look what’s happened. I know that those who favour the claret and blue in the Maccabi League are not enormous but I can tell you there is a larger Jewish following at Upton Park than you might have thought. This season, so far, has been a disaster, but I cannot really blame Avram Grant. We have too many under-performing players whose ability, quite frankly, is below that required for the Premier League.
We have been on a downward spiral for five years. Our old fashioned pure football has disappeared and we seem to be completely lacking in ideas and any tactical plan. Forwards can’t score goals, defenders can’t keep clean sheets and the midfield runs round in circles … other than that we are a great team. But despite all that we a great club and those of us who hail from the area are proud to be associated.
I really hope that the weather improves and you all get to play and enjoy your football.
JCMaccabi (Southern) Football League