There’s some cracking action in store on Matchday Two of the JC MSFL season, with champions Hendon in action for the first time, as are Premier Division rivals FC Team, Brady and Lions. Down in Division Four, Tottenham Chutspah are preparing for their first outing. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the bumper programme.
JC GOAL OF THE WEEK
Nicky Plotnek (Shirley Park)
JC SAVE OF THE WEEK
Josh Cohen (Los Blancos)
JC SUPERSUB OF THE WEEK
Elliot Setyon (NW Neasden B)
YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
3 - Yoni Raeburn (Faithfold A), Jamie Wolfson (NL Raiders A)
FAITHFOLD A vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A
“I love it when a plan comes together.” That is what Faithfold boss Zuriel Solomon was heard muttering in the changing after the spectacular 5-1 demolition of Brixton at the Lodge last Sunday.
Club stalwart Solomon has demanded that his Superhooped heroes turn Chase Lodge into a fortress this season and he was pleasantly surprised by what he saw from what was the youngest team in the club’s history.
On Sunday they face a different challenge from a Raiders team they will have plenty of respect for. Rob Richman masterminded three victories over Solomon’s men last season, and he’s added the likes of David Rhodes, Adam Joselyn, Adam Posner and Jamie Wolfson to his talented squad.
Back-to-back home wins is what Solomon wants, and with a red-hot Yoni Raeburn looking to pull the strings once more, it looks set to be a testing morning for L’Orange.
“We’re looking forward to Sunday’s game against a good Raiders team who beat us three times last year,” Solomon told JC Sport. “Season 2011/12 was not one of our best, but we’re stronger this year, although we still have some short-term injuries and boys away, but should have a strong team Sunday.
“It should be a tight game as Raiders are always organised, but we have been playing well and are confident in our own ability.”
Raiders were involved in a six-goal thriller against Redbridge last weekend and Richman and co know they must tighten up at the back.
Richman told JC Sport: “Faithfold have a good blend of youth and experience and I am sure they will be on a high after a very impressive opening day victory.
“We had some joy against them last season but that will count for nothing come Sunday.
“We know we will have to be at our very best, but we go to the Lodge in good confidence and we expect a really good game.”
The first 20 minutes of Sunday’s game will be crucial. Faithfold will be looking to make a fast start and it will be interesting to see how L’Orange cope in a high-octane affair. It should be a cracker.
JC team news: Faithfold will be missing brothers Alex and Jamie Taylor, Sam Lewis and Joe Cohen.
For Raiders, Gilad Kestenbaum returns after missing out last week. Josh Morris looks set to miss out after picking up an ankle injury against Redbridge.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – N. Cooper
JC star man: Yoni Raeburn (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold A 2 NL Raiders A 1
FC TEAM A vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS A
FC Team boss Mitch Young will be demanding a fast start when FC Team open their season with a tough match against the Lions in Borehamwood.
A solid first season in the top-flight has set them up nicely for what Young hopes will be a big year for the club.
Team were competitive in every match last term and Young is confident his boys can up the ante, especially against the big boys. Summer signing Marc Harris has looked good in pre-season and having offloaded Craig Edwards, he will be looking to cement his place in the starting XI.
With striker Richard Salmon and keeper Ed Bloom looking to carry on where they left off last season, they will be looking to give as good as they get against a Lions team hoping to finish the season with silverware.
In his midweek press conference, Young told JC Sport: “We’re hoping to put in a good performance following a long pre-season.
“Lions have strengthened and play decent football so it will be a tough test, but we believe we can make Meadow Park a fortress this season.
“We will make it very difficult for Lions and my players need no motivation for this one after the antics of last season.
“It’s always important to get of to a good start. We know what we have to do.”
Lions were dealt a big blow on the eve of the season when JC Goalkeeper of the Year Sam Castle decided to join Brady B. Managers Josh Newman and Malcolm Newman must have something special lined up to replace him as they look to make a winning start in what will be a testing 90 minutes.
Ollie Leslie was another standout performer for Lions last year, while Oli Craig walked away with the club’s Golden Boot. And with Mike Pearson returning to the club to freshen up the front line, it will be interesting to see if Young adopts a high line to try and nullify the pace of the marksman who joined from Faithfold during the summer.
There will be plenty of talent on show in what should be an exhilarating contest.
JC team news: Marc Harris is set for his FC Team debut, but Adam Rosenfeld is nursing a shoulder injury while Dan Silverman has not yet returned from the USA.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – Tony McEvoy
JC star man: Ed Bloom (Team)
DC Prediction: FC Team A 1 LM Lions A 1
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A vs BRIXTON OLD BOYS A
“Our season starts now.” Those were the words of Brixton boss John Nitka following last week’s debacle against Faithfold.
Nitka missed the match but was horrified to hear the result, with stand-in boss Rob Blackman putting it down to “a lack of concentration and fitness”.
It doesn’t get any easier for Brixton with champions Hendon next up.
I was expecting Hendon boss David Garbacz to make a marquee signing on the eve of the new season and he didn’t disappoint. You probably know Jacob Gold, the pace ace, formerly of North London Raiders.
Gold has that wow factor that all MSFL managers are looking for. He’s quick off the mark and knows where the goal is. He’s like a raw Mike Pearson and is an absolute nightmare for defences.
The best team just got even better. That’s the bottom line, and his name is the last thing the Brixton backline will want to see right now.
Garbacz is confident that his troops have ironed out some issues that affected them in the build-up to the season, and he is backing his troops to do the business again, even without the Bentley brothers.
He told JC Sport: “After a long and sometimes dis-jointed pre-season, with so many boys away, we have finally started to look decent again in the last couple of weeks and everyone is now raring to go.
“Every team will be looking to find an extra gear against us this year and I believe that on their day any team can beat any team in this division this season.
“We therefore cannot afford to be complacent against anyone and it is vital we start this campaign on the front foot in order to build up some early momentum.
“We have a really exciting forward line this year with youngsters Danny Kon and new boy Jacob Gold complimented by the more experienced Avidan Last and Dovid Korman, who is looking as sharp as I've ever seen him.
“It is my son’s Barmitzvah this weekend and the grief I am getting from the wife by being out on Sunday morning will be more than worth it as long as I return home with three lovely points.”
I can see Hendon reminding the crowd at Hadley FC just why they were crowned champions last season, although they will have to remain patient.
JC team news: Hendon are missing Greg Corin and Ari Nevies, who are away, as well as Ben Kon who got married last week. Yoav Kestenbaum is now not going on his gap year which gaffer Garbacz says “is great news for us (although probably not such great news for him)”, but he is also away. The club this week signed Jacob Gold from Raiders. The striker will be handed his debut on Sunday.
Venue – Hadley FC, Ref – Richard Jaye
JC star man: Jacob Gold (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon 2 Brixton 0
OAKWOOD A vs BRADY MACCABI A
Joel Nathan is ready to unleash his big guns in Garston as Brady make their bow for the season against Division One champions Oakwood.
Nathan made some top acquisitions over the summer, raiding Neasden for several key men including Bradley Sharp, Marc Lazare, Ben Joseph, Rob Lerner and midfield general Matt Sofier, who was the final piece in the jigsaw. Young gun Jordan Nathan, the manager’s son, will also be another one to watch.
Upon signing Sofier, Nathan beamed: “Matt is an excellent addition to our squad as we look to build a title-winning team.”
Looking ahead to the game, Nathan told JC Sport: “Oakwood, as you know, are my dark horses this season so we are expecting a very tough game, especially as they have already have a league match under their belt, and although they drew last week I am sure they will be very determined to record their first premier win.
“Ric has put together a very strong squad but our boys are champing at the bit to get started after a very productive pre-season.
“The new signings have gelled well and the competition for places in the starting 11 is great, so we are looking to get off to a winning start.”
While it will be interesting to see how quickly the new faces on board the Brady boat settle, it will also be interesting to see how certain players handle what promises to be a physical contest.
Opponents Oakwood have some real big-hitters in their line-up, none more so than skipper Adam Levine.
Bobby Cousins was the scorer in last weekend’s draw against Norstar, a result that left manager Ric Blank and Alex Schock frustrated on the sidelines. They want the team to turn Parmiters into a fortress this season and will be looking for an improved showing on Sunday.
I managed to grab a few words with Blank after training this week. He told JC Sport: “Matches like this coming Sunday are exactly why we worked so hard to get promoted.
“I saw Brady several times last year and was very impressed. On their day they can beat anyone and I thought they were unlucky to lose the Morrison final to Hendon.
“We are well aware of the amount of work that lies before us this season, but we have never ever shirked a challenge.
“We have several away unfortunately but are looking forward to giving Josh Bentley his debut. He'll give us some presence and physicality we were perhaps lacking against Norstar.
Martin Lavender will be in charge of a game that’s definitely one to watch.
JC team news: Anthony Kintish also returns to the Oakwood side to add some further experience, but they are without Dave Cohen and Jonny Beilin while Dave Epstein will probably have one more week with the seconds. Blank told me “Vic Librae is nowhere near the firsts despite scoring for the seconds on Sunday!”
Brady have a full team to choose from other than Ben Joseph who is recovering from injury.
Venue – Parmiters, Ref – Martin Lavender
JC star man: Josh Bentley (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Oakwood 1 Brady 1
3 - Jamie Kent (Shirley Park)
2 - Gideon Gold (Shirley Park)
CHIGWELL ATHLETIC vs SHIRLEY PARK
Supporters of Chigwell go into the new season full of hope, but player-manager Richard Slater is keen to play down talk of promotion after four seasons of disappointment.
The Chigs look like one of the teams to beat this season although will be tested by newly-promoted opponents who got off to a flyer last weekend.
Slater will be looking for his big players to stand up and be counted, with the quality and experience of players like Dan Castle and Paul Lenchner key this season.
“The lads are really looking forward to Sunday,” Slater enthused. “It's been a positive pre- season and the new boys have been quality and bedded in really well. Hopefully that will continue throughout the season.”
This could also be a big season for the likes of Neil Tilley, Jamie Fox and Anthony Mendel, the latter two are determined to be playing Premier Division football once more in 12 months time.
The early signs look good for Shirley with record signing Jamie Kent off to the perfect start with a hat-trick on his competitive debut for the club. His partnership with Saul Conway has resulted in season ticket sales going through the roof.
UJIA simply couldn’t live with Shirley last weekend and no doubt, they will be looking to take Sunday’s game by the scruff of the neck. For me, the midfield head-to-head between Nick Plotnek and Castle will be worth the admission fee alone. Both players are different gravy and would walk into any MSFL team.
Shirley boss Dave Lusman knows that things will get a lot tougher on Sunday. He told JC Sport: “We’re expecting a tough battle against Chigwell. I'm sure they will be seeking revenge after our surprising 6-5 victory with only 10 men during pre season.
“We head to Essex with a strong squad, however it looks like were going to have several key players out, so were be hoping to at least pick up a point on our travels.”
Whoever lines up for Shirley, I don’t expect them to try and park the bus in an attempt to grind out a point. That’s just not their style. I can see both teams huffing and puffing and it’s hard to pick a winner.
JC team news: Chigwell’s Jonathan Swead, Alex Norman and Rob Shepherdson are all out of the country this week
SQUAD: James Swead, Pierce Prince, Lee Hyams, Paul Lenchner, Russell Yershon, Russell Brill, Craig Pearl, Brad Gayer, Richard Baum, Richard Slater, Daniel Castle (c),
Glenn Davis, Anthony Mendel, Neil Tilley, Jamie Fox, Den ben Yosef
Venue – Redbridge Sports Centre, Ref – Brandon Pieters, KO – 10.15am
JC star man: Dan Oade (Shirley)
DC Prediction: Chigwell 2 Shirley Park 2
GLENTHORNE UNITED A vs WOODFORD WANDERERS
Glenthorne made a dream start last weekend with a hugely impressive win and clean sheet against Neasden but they will face a challenge of a different kind on Sunday when local rivals Woodford visit Redbridge Sports Centre.
Manager Sam Rosenthal was named JC Manager of the Week after his troops put in a super show. They were outstanding from one to 11 in a game where Scott Jay, Fabio Riveccio, Adam Bernstein hit the onion bag.
In Revieccio, they have one of the top strikers in the league. No doubt several clubs would’ve put bids in for the Italian Stallion but Rosenthal wasn’t having any of it. He knows the value of goals, something Revieccio delivers on a regular basis.
The Glenthorne gaffer has a full-strength squad available for the east London derby and he had this to say ahead of the game.
“It’s a local derby against the crazy gang. We’re looking forward to a cracker in front of a big crowd.”
Sunday could come down to the battle of the strikers, with Woodford having drafted into Jamie Shaw from Neasden. He is one of four new additions likely to make their debuts.
New manager Paul Hyams will have some tough decisions to make as to who will make the starting 11. New signings Paul Biller, James Ryan, Josh Jacobs and Joe Sumray will all be in the gaffer’s thoughts following strong displays in training.
Harrison Midda will again be captaining the team and there could be some new positions for some of the old Woodford faces.
Striker Jerome Marks told JC Sport: “We are hoping for an entertaining game and three points would be a terrific start to the new campaign.”
Woodford will be looking to hit the ground running after a nightmare start last season. We’ll know a lot more about their chances come 12.15 on Sunday.
JC team news: Woodford stalwart Adam ‘Heskey’ Poole faces a late fitness test on a shoulder injury picked up at Notting Hill Carnival and Darryl Green is definitely out as he will be in Barcelona at his brothers stag do.
Venue - Fairlop, Ref – Adam Lewis
JC star man: Fabio Riveccio (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Glenthorne 2 Woodford 1
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B vs TEMPLE FORTUNE A
There’s a good game in store in West Hendon where both the Hornets and Fortune are in action for the first time this season.
Hendon, last season’s Division One champions, will once again be managed by Motty Korman and Chaim Gothold. The dynamic duo will do their best to ensure the Reds maintain the level of consistency that steered them towards the title last season.
The signs look good, according to Korman. He told JC Sport: “The first game of the season is always a tough one and we will be happy to come away with one point in our first game since promotion last season.
“RA Noe will be looking to continue his goal scoring form from pre season and Gav Noe has been leading the line well in pre-season.
“After losing Ari Nevies to our A-team, we have converted our captain Tali Nevies to replace him.”
It’s been a testing summer for Fortune boss Lee Fegan. Consolidation was the name of the game last season, but he’ll be aiming for a top half finish this time around.
Fegan told JC Sport: ““TFFC management have been very busy over the summer bringing in new faces which is going to take time for the team to gel but we still expect our players to turn up and work hard this Sunday against a tricky opponent.”
Fortune did well to keep hold of attacking midfielder Michael Goldberg, but I think Sunday will be all about Hendon in a game of goals.
JC team news: For Hendon, new signings Yishai Last, Avi Markiewicz and Dovi Vogel are in the squad, but the injured James Jospehs hasn’t.
Fortune striker Ben Isaacs has had a minor setback with his record to full fitness but they hope he will be training with the first team sometime soon. Jason Miller also is out for a few weeks and Paul Walker is not available for selection but the club will soon announce to the media who has left and who has joined the club in the next few days.
I wasn’t prepared to wait and have been sniffing around for info, as any good journalist would! I can confirm that striker Craig Edwards has joined from FC Team and Kane Gilbery has also signed. (sorry Lee ;))
Venue – West Hendon Playing Fields, Ref – Warwick Blake
JC star man: Gav Noe (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon 3 Temple Fortune 1
LONDON MACCABI LIONS B vs CAMDEN PARK
Mutiny in the ranks at Camden? Far from it, but the players appear to have rebelled before the season’s even started. What are you talking about Caro, I hear you say. Well, get this. Manager Josh Marks’ instructions for a 10pm curfew the night before a match has already fallen on deaf ears and there could be a hangover or two in the warm-up at Rowley Lane. I sincerely hope the groundsman is ready with his bucket, spade and a bit of sand.
Last season’s Division Two runners-up are taking a big following to Arkley for their first match back in the first division, but as Nick Kagan reveals, one or two should brings their moulds and shinpads, just in case.
“We have the ideal preparation for this one, with half the squad returning from pre-season bonding in Ibiza on Saturday.
“We always relish playing Lions. We like being their noisy neighbours, and as they were promoted on a technicality (classic Lions), we intend to put them in their place in their own back yard and kick off our season with a big win.”
I can see Jamie Kyte putting his teamtalk back in his pocket right now! Far from it. Although one or two regulars will be missing on Sunday, he know full well that his Lions cannot underestimate Camden.
“The first game of the season is a massive one for us as it's against the Camden boys,” Kyte told JC Sport. “There’ll be a lot of old Lions boys in the team and it always means it's a well contested battle.
“We've got depth in our squad so it shouldn't make too much of a difference in terms of who we have missing.”
As long as they have James ‘Jimmy Goals’ Gold, Lions have a chance. Always.
JC team news: Lions are without Jonny Cutter, Max Green and Max Kyte.
Camden will be missing Max Saunders, Guy Marks, David Khalastchi, David Kanzen and Greg Meller.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Aron Djanogly
JC star man: Luke Brookner (Camden)
DC Prediction: Lions 2 Camden 2
UJIA vs FAITHFOLD B
Darren Rolfe locked his UJIA team into their changing room for an hour after last weekend’s horror show against Shirley Park last weekend.
The famous Rolfe hairdryer could be heard as far as Golders Green after they were put to bed 6-2. Matt Radstone and Assi Avital were their scorers on the day.
Rolfe will be looking for a major improvement when they host Faithfold B.
“We’re looking to bounce back,” he told JC Sport. “It’s our first home game of the season where we face a good Faithfold team.”
The Superhoops made a solid if unspectacular start in the 1-1 draw against Southgate Harmen, with Guy Benaharon the Faithfold scorer.
Both manager Rob Shooman and no. 2 Ben Lewis missed the match, with football agent and author extraordinaire Matt Kleinman taking charge of the team. (Ed. if any girlfriends/wives are reading this, I suggest you buy your other half a copy of Kleinman’s new book, Show me the mon£y. It’s already a best football book seller on Amazon).
UJIA will come out of the famous Chase Lodge dressing rooms like men on a mission. The last thing they want is for Rolfe to throw a wobbly and some teacups at half time, so I can see them at their resilient best.
I can’t see there being many goals on Sunday in a contest that could be locked in midfield.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref -
JC star man: Darren Rolfe (UJIA)
DC Prediction: UJIA 0 Faithfold B 0
4 - Jake Gilbert (Athletic Bilbaum), Jamie Sinai (Catford & Bromley)
BRADY MACCABI B vs ATHLETIC BILBAUM
I’m sure you’ve all heard about the big news coming out of the Brady camp by now, but just in case you haven’t, here it is. Josh Dagul has signed JC Goalkeeper of the Year – Sam Castle. You can read the full story here:
The addition of Castle has sent shockwaves around the league and the bookies have slashed the odds on Brady winning the Division Two crown.
With players of the calibre of captain James Joseph, Dan Hildebrand, Reiss Mogilner and Daniel Harrod, it’s hard to see them failing. But I’m sure Bilbaum have other ideas.
Step up Jake Gilbert. That’s exactly what he did last weekend when he hit four of the best in the 5-2 win over fellow new boys SPEC FC.
Gilbert will be looking to carry on where he left off against Brady, but I just can’t see him getting the same kind of service against a team including veterans Jerome Colmans and Jonny ‘Mertesacker’ Meltzer.
Brady will have plenty of respect for the Baums, but they will feel they have the edge man for man. That said, I don’t think they will have things all their own way on Sunday.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – J. Feenstra
JC star man: Simon Roth (Bilbaum)
DC Prediction: Brady 2 Athletic Bilbaum 2
NORSTAR B vs BLIZZARD STORM
After a disappointing first week for the B's and C's, the Norstar Board have decided to intervene. With the A team taking it easy this week, club chairman Phil Peters has put himself in charge of the B team with Jamie Slavin heading down to monitor the progress of the C's.
Talk of a crisis may be a little premature but with David Lubczanski Stateside on a scouting mission, Peters was unhappy about leaving the team in the hands of former manager Jonny Bunt for a second-week running.
Bunt's notoriously laissez-faire style resulted in two players staying in bed all of Sunday morning. Indeed, no-one seemed to come out for the second half.
To be fair to JB, he did score his first Norstar goal last week after four seasons of trying and was quite happy to take the booking for the customary shirt-off celebration.
This week it's back to business but with several players missing it will be a big ask. Peters may use the game to ease his A team midfielder Adam Kaldor back into first team action from the bench but other than this you're unlikely to see any big names dropping down.
As far as goalkeeping solutions go, Ben De La Fuente has already made plans so won't be helping out his cousin. There are still 10 hours to go until this week's transfer window slams shut so expect some activity.
Peters expects nothing less than a victory and has promised this to Lubczanski who will be in Vegas putting everything on Orange.
“We have to bounce back against Norstar.” Those were the words of Blizzard boss Simon Linden following the 3-1 defeat against Neasden B on the opening weekend of the season.
Adam Speck scored the Blizzard goal in a game Linden believes they didn’t get the rub of the green. They hit the bar twice, had a goal disallowed and now have a suspension hanging over the head of Oli Simons who was shown a red card.
Linden, who has been involved in important contract negotiations at Fonehouse Borehamwood this week, was disappointed to see his troops “take their our eye of the ball a bit in the second half”.
He will be looking for a big reaction and it will be interesting to see who wins the war of the football brains on the sidelines.
JC team news: Full-backs Rafi Addlestone, Adam Graham and Robin Scher are all missing whilst Yoni Benari, Dan Caplan and keeper Ian Weinstein will also miss the game.
Venue – John Lyons School, Ref – Michael Cohen
JC star man: Richard Adams (Norstar)
DC Prediction: Norstar B 2 Blizzard 2
FC TEAM B vs LOS BLANCOS
Adam Hersh told me that he wouldn’t swap Josh Cohen for any keeper in the MSFL after the big stopper produced another top-class performance to deny Glenthorne B maximum points on the opening day of the season.
Cohen pulled one an outstanding penalty save and almost kept out another as Blancos came away with a point many believed was beyond them. But already, they have shown they are made of stern stuff.
Next up is a trip to FC Team B, who go into the new season with high hopes.
Hersh will be looking to score another goal-of-the-week contender after his beauty last weekend
He told JC Sport: “We want to build on our strong start to the season against Glenthorne B with a win against FC Team B.
“We were missing a few top players last week, including summer signings Josh Gaon, formally of Norstar, and Manchester Maccabi ace, Ben Annis. They will be raring to go along with the rest of the team and I can't see anything but a win this week.”
FC Team boss Ben Simon is determined to prove the bookies wrong this season. In Adam Goldsmith, he has a player who offers plenty of hustle and bustle on the pitch. He never gives defender a moment’s piece on the ball and will certainly be looking to test the reflexes of Cohen in goal.
I don’t think there will be more than a goal in it, but am tipping Blancos to come away with three points.
Ref – B. David
JC star man: Ben Annis (Blancos)
DC Prediction: FC Team B 1 Los Blancos 2
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B vs GLENTHORNE UNITED B
Same surface, different venue. That’s the story for Raiders who are ready to rumble against last season’s Division Three champions.
L’Orange boss Oli Shorts has fared well in the transfer window and he’s confident about getting the best out of his troops this season.
If you recall, they flew out of the blocks last season, but slipped off the pace in the second half. No doubt, Shorts and right-hand man Rich Abrahams will remind their players of the importance of not peaking too soon. After all, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Shorts told JC Sport: “We've assembled what we believe to be a very good team, but it doesn't get much harder then last year’s champions so we really need to be on the ball from the off.
“Sunday is all about putting in a good performance and hopefully getting a point or three on the board. I'm confident we can but Glenthorne will be a tough opponent.”
The Thornes were forced to settle for a point against a determined Blancos last weekend and manager Liam Stein and Jordan Sapler, who scored last weekend, will be looking for improvements from one to 11.
Sapler told JC Sport: “Raiders are unknown to us but will no doubt be strong and we need to push off from an average start last week and get our first win - the 3G pitch should suit us though.
Many visiting keepers have come a cropper at Brunel, and Thornes stopper Jordan Davidson will need to ensure his back four don’t go missing as Raiders have players who can hurt them.
The first goal will be crucial on Sunday and it would surprise me if Glenthorne don’t get something from the game.
JC team news: Debuts will be handed out to David Shamash, Simon Buchler and Daniel 'Rosey' Rosenberg. Nicky Woolf will also make his second debut for North London Raiders B on Sunday. Unfortunately Johnny 'Shaps' Shapiro will have to wait one week before his debut as he's away on his summer holiday.
Joe Grant and Andy Herman return for Glenthorne who name a fully fit squad apart from James Berkley.
Venue - Brunel, Ref – Quentin Fox
JC star man: Nicky Woolf (Raiders)
DC Prediction: Raiders C 1 Glenthorne B 2
SPEC FC vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN B
Last weekend’s 5-2 hammering at the hands of Bilbaum came as a real body blow to supporters of SPEC FC.
They went into the season full of optimism and there is a danger that they could struggle against on Sunday.
“From just about being able to get 14 together on Sunday, manager Laurence Conway has a selection headache ahead of him on Sunday with only Craig Cohen, Nick Wallis and Adam Wilson being out injured,” Ricky Lawrence told JC Sport.
“Seeing star man James Segal hobble off during training yesterday will mean that at least one change from the squad lost to Bilbaum is likely.
“We played poorly last week and Sunday has almost become a 'must win'
“With the likes of Marc Hecht and Elliott Wallis potentially both back in the fold, the SPEC fans will be hoping for the opportunity to go bananas come full time on Sunday.”
Neasden made a great start against Blizzard on the opening day of the season. Supersub Elliot Setyon hopes he did enough to earn a place in Adam Levene’s starting XI after coming off the bench to fire a decisive double. Former boss Louis Taylor fired home the other.
Ali Marks also received rave reviews from gaffer Levene who had this to say. “We hope to continue the good start we made last week. We know it will be a tough game but we'll be doing all we can to go for the win and keep the fans happy.”
Confidence will be an important factor in this game and if Neasden score early, I fear the worst for SPEC.
JC team news: Injured trio Craig Cohen, Nick Wallis and Adam Wilson are all missing for SPEC, while star man James Segal faces a late fitness test.
Joel Kanutin and Bobby Abrams return for NWN this week. Levene added: “The old men are struggling after the first game of the season but hopefully everyone should be fit.”
Venue – Hatfield Uni, Ref – Gary Silver
JC star man: Ali Marks (Neasden)
DC Prediction: SPEC FC 1 Neasden B 2
BOCA JEWNIORS vs TEMPLE FORTUNE B
With a change of management and an influx of new players, Boca Jewniors are looking for a better campaign after their first outing last season only brought one point.
Pre-season went well for Boca, as they notched up their first ever win, a 5-2 defeat of Norstar C.
With heavy interest in the summer from other clubs, the two standout players from last season, striker Jamie Weinrich and goalkeeper Ryan Monk, Boca's player of the year , have pledged themselves to the cause to fight to bring Boca's first league win.
Chairman Sefton Monk has stated that this season will be the time for Boca Jewniors to shine, and push all the other teams to the limit.
“We won’t be pushovers like last year season," he said from a telephone conference from Tenerife this week. “With the news of Weinrich and Ryan Monk Staying at the club has meant bringing in more exciting players to the squad.
“This Sunday is not only the first game of the season, but also the first game of Boca Jewniors new home ground. The North Herts Arena. With this new ground, new players and new ambitions, the club believe this season should be the start of something amazing.”
Fortune go into the season with plenty relying on the shoulders of player-manager Terry Jeffries. With Dean Ingram joining the new management structure as Admin Secretary, they are both hoping for a smooth ride, with a promotion push a bonus.
The Fortune boys tailed off in disappointing fashion last season and Jeffries hopes that a combination of youth and experience will stand the team in good stead for the challenges ahead.
Boca new boy Lex Slater is my one to watch in a game I’m tipping the home side to claim their first-ever victory in the JC MSFL.
JC team news: Ryan Monk returns following his annual trip to Las Vegas, while Sefton Monk is in line to start after giving up the manager’s role.
Venue - The North Herts Arena, Ref – Paul Dobkin
JC star man: Lex Slater
DC Prediction: Boca Jewniors 3 Temple Fortune B 2
FAITHFOLD C vs OAKWOOD B
There were plenty of positives for Ian Tussie to chew on this week after the mighty Oaks started the season with a battling 2-2 draw against Jewventus.
Vic Librae and Ben Myers registered in a strong B team and a similar effort could steer them towards a first league win on Sunday.
“We’re keen to build on last week’s performance against Jewve,” Tussie told JC Sport, “but more importantly, I'm desperate to win.
“It’s a good chance for some of the boys who weren’t involved on Sunday to showcase their talent too.
“We've got Marc Hymanson back from a barmitzvah and Ben Polak returns to the squad as does Rafi Bloom. There is also new signing Adam Blin who may be involved. He's Scottish and therefore the scariest guy in the squad. Ben Myers should be involved despite concerns about his missing shooting boots.
“But we’re still without me which is a big blow due to the obvious quality that I bring!”
Faithfold hotshot Ben Simons had a run-out for the club’s B team last Sunday. Having drawn a rare blank, he’ll be looking to get his teeth into the Oakwood defence.
David Garson, the longest-serving manager in the league, has been fine-tuning his squad and he believes they are ready to challenge for promotion, as they look to bounce back into Division Two at the first time of asking.
For me, Oakwood have several players who should not be playing in the bottom division and I think their quality will shine through on Sunday.
Ref – Laurence Thorne
JC star man: Dave Epstein (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Faithfold C 1 Oakwood B 3
FC TEAM C vs LOUGHTON ORIENT
Loughton Orient boss Dan Curtis has been flashing the cash over the summer with Jaimie Sinclair, Dean Silver and Matt Conway making their long-awaited debuts for the club.
Rumour has it that Silver has been mulling over retirement since being released by Redbridge Jewish Care, but he’s got the buzz for JC football again after watching his wife, Lauren, run the London Marathon earlier this year.
Curtis believes he has a group of players capable of mounting a sustained challenge for the top.
He told JC Sport: “We expect to be strong challengers for the title this season and therefore will be looking to pick up all three points.”
FC Team C had a good first year and player-manager Michael Myers is determined to push on.
Captained by Jamie Breslaw, the boys in yellow and blue have added Dave Cohen, Oli Senchal, Avi Nejad, Dan Tan and Matthew Cohen, who Myers describes as “strong players”.
Pace is the name of the game for FC Team up top, although their chances were hit in pre-season when Max Worth picked up an injury that could rule him out for a little while.
On paper there is little to separate two talented teams and I don’t think it will pan out differently on grass.
JC team news: Loughton welcome back Matt West, Rob Freedman and Dan Levy back into the squad.
Venue – Aycliffe Road, Ref – Stuart Ansher
JC star man: Dave Cohen (FC Team)
DC Prediction: FC Team C 1 Loughton Orient 1
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C vs AC MILL HILL
AC Mill Hill got off to a flyer with player-manager Joe Levy delighted his players walked the walk after he talked the talk.
Levy chipped in with two goals in the 6-0 demolition of Norstar C, but it was front man Ben Zloof who stole the headlines with a fab four-goal salvo. It’s clear the boy is a class act.
The bad news for Hendon is that Mill Hill welcome back a couple of players who missed the opener, although Levy told me that “one of two are nursing knocks and bruises”.
He told JC Sport: “We're hoping to build on our performance from last week and aim to stay at the top of the table all season.”
Hendon boss Chaim Strom could not have asked for a tougher start. They were meant to start against L’Equipe and could’ve done with 90 minutes under their belts before taking on a team who many people have tipped for the title.
Hendon had a tough season last year and I don’t think things will get any easier here.
Venue – West Hendon Playing Fields, Ref -
JC star man: Harry Waterman (Mill Hill)
DC Prediction: Hendon 0 AC Mill Hill 5
NORSTAR C vs L’EQUIPE
Bouncebackability is the name of the game for Norstar on Sunday and manager Zack Gothelf told me that they’ve been trying to iron out one or two problems in training.
The good news is that they won’t be lining up against Ben Zloof this weekend and the Mill Hill hotshot led them a merry dance. However, they mustn’t under-estimate the challenge of L’Equipe or front man Andy Burke.
Gothelf has one regular missing through injury, but he told JC Sport: “We’ve got strength in depth so we're not worried. We’re hopeful of getting our first points on the board.”
Consistency is the way forward for L’Equipe this season, according to manager David Prager.
They will be looking to impress after going down last season and Prager has been delighted with the attitude in training.
He told JC Sport: “The first game of the season is always exciting for everyone involved. I have a fully fit squad to pick from and the lads are chomping at the bit to get our camping off and running.
“It will be interesting to see how we get on with Norstar’s 3G pitch.”
Prager managed to re-sign L’Equipe legends Erez Nounou and Paul Rubenstein, while Dan Finegold and Anthony Isaacs have also come on board.
For me, the signs all point toward a L’Equipe victory.
JC team news: Norstar will be missing Ali Gordon with a knee injury.
Venue – Ark Academy, Ref – David Nathan
JC star man: Erez Nounou (L’Equipe)
DC Prediction: Norstar C 2 L’Equipe 4
TOTTENHAM CHUTSPAH vs JEWVENTUS
Much has been written about new boys Tottenham Chutspah and it wouldn’t surprise me if AVB came down to find out what all the fuss is about.
The team failed with a cheeky groundshare bid at White Hart Lane, so instead manager Ariel Tamman and co will have to make do with Regents Park.
Tamman was keen to keep his cards close to his chest in terms of new signings, but he had this to say.
“All is looking good in terms of preparation for our first game,” he told JC Sport.
“The players and I are very excited to debut in the Maccabi League. We are all feeling very confident on our first game.
“We have had a few setbacks, one being that a player that makes our first 11 has recently broke his wrist. Apart from this injury all is looking good. We hope to win the game this Sunday as that would give us a large boost to carry on from.”
Jewventus boss Gabriel John dug deep into those dusty old pockets of his to sign former Montana Boca United player Nick Goodmaker.
John told JC Sport: “I’m incredibly excited by our capture. Having been an integral part to so many successful sides, Nick is now taking on new challenge at Division Three.
“I couldn’t be happier, Nick is a massive addition for us. A really top guy, with good footballing ability. Nick can play in a number of positions.
It’s a massive signing.”
The boys in black and white got off to a solid start with a draw against Oakwood B, but John believes it could have been even better had they got the rub of the green after being denied a penalty.
In the end, Richard Fogelman, the player at the centre of the spot-kick storm, scored both goals in a 2-2 draw.
John will be looking for an improvement in results away from home and with Goodmaker coming into the squad, it could given the likes of Ami Wynbourne the licence to thrill.
It will take something special to stop the Jewve boys on Sunday.
Venue – Regents Park, Ref – Robert Benardout
JC star man: Nick Goodmaker (Jewve)
DC Prediction: Tottenham Chutspah 1 Jewventus 3