The world of Jewish football is this week mourning the loss of a dear friend after Jonathan Chippeck passed away following a long illness.
Nicknamed Chipdog, Jonathan was to this day the only player who made me see stars on the pitch. He was a great competitor, hard as nails and would run through a brick wall for the cause.
He managed Oakwood during the 1990’s, along with David Hyman, who led the tributes. "Jonathan was a very popular figure in the changing room," he said. "We were a small team that he helped keep together, without ever winning anything.
"He was as fiercely competitive about Judaism as he was on the field of play, but it wasn’t just about the football. He really bought into his religion and the whole ethos of Maccabi." Rest in peace my friend.
* It's certainly been a busy week for James Gershfield. Hot on the heels of the announcement that he will link up with London Maccabi Lions A interim-manager Andy Landesberg, he signs for Wingate & Finchley. It’s good to see two top, young Jewish footballers in the first-team squad.
Another key signing for Landesberg is that of Lee Cash, just as I predicted last week. The former Neasden marksman would walk into any MSFL team and it really is a big coup for the Lions.
Landesberg commented: "There is very little that needs to be said about Lee Cash and his footballing ability that hasn’t already been said. His quality and reputation is exactly what we were looking for. James and I are delighted, as are the whole squad, that Lee has decided to come on board."
* Neasden defender Scott Shindler has announced his retirement from the JC MSFL. A three-time Peter Morrison Trophy winner, Shindler, 29, was part of the successful NWN team who won three consecutive league and cup doubles.
A free-scoring defender, Spurs fan Shindler has been playing in the Maccabi League for 13 years. He told me his decision was based largely on the fact that he expects to become a father for the first time in the new year.
Shindler said: "I've played in the MSFL since I was 16, so would like my Sunday mornings back. I could still do it for a team in the Premier Division, but playing against those boys no longer motivates me. My hunger and passion simply isn’t there any more.
"Maybe I’ll be back for Masters football, but as it stands the MSFL in my opinion is not where it used to be - the gulf of what it was and what it is now are two different levels. The standard has dropped significantly."
* Following a string of key departures, North West Neasden A manager Daniel Hodes told me that he is doing everything he can to keep the team afloat. “It’s definitely hard times ahead,” he said. “In the short-term we will just be trying to get a side out. As time goes on we hope we can make some additions to strengthen the club, but we will have to wait and see.
* Members of South Manchester Maccabi Sports were left star-struck this week when Eyal Berkovic popped into the club. Chairman Jonny Davis told me that the 14-year-old son of the former Premier League’s star is already quite some player. The visit came a day after club stalwart Les Ormrod received an equality award from the Manchester FA for services to grass-roots football over the last 25 years.
"As someone who's been at the club for 21 seasons, it is really sad as NWN has a great legacy and a strong place in MSFL history, but its future is uncertain at best." Good luck.
* Brady Maccabi B's odds on winning the Division Two title have been cut after they signed former London Maccabi Lions A joint-player-manager Josh Newman, while Catford & Bromley Maccabi have swooped to secure the service of Jeff Gotch from Norstar.