Fab four in a league of their own
And then there were four. Few would’ve predicted the semi-final line-up for the Peter Morrison Trophy a couple of months ago and the final destination of the cup this year is anyone’s guess.
Brady Maccabi and Redbridge Jewish Care have unfinished business, but the other semi-final is one for the romantics as neither South Manchester Sports Club and Camden Park have won the Jewish FA Cup before.
Joel Nathan’s Brady made few friends with their approach to Sunday’s quarter-final win over Manchester Maccabi 1st in a game where very little football of note was played.
Brady have some fine footballers in their team, but also one or two who can mix it and they have all the qualities of a team that can go the distance. Plus, they have star man Paul Hakim to come back.
Players such as Ben Joseph, Jonathan Green and Josh Hershman are among the MSFL’s top ball-players, while Jonny Ellis, Matt Sofier and others are as determined and committed as they come.
Redbridge are going through the gears nicely and manager Eilon Kennet has a multi-talented squad that blends youth and experience. He has an outstanding keeper in Dan Lee, while Joel Berg, Adam Hakimi, Steve Gevertz, Ben Sollosi, Adam Stolerman and Steve Summers offer a rock solid spine. The emergence of youngsters such as Sam and Nathan Sollosi and Jack Van Gelder means exciting times lie ahead.
South Manchester are faced with a slight dilemma ahead of their last four clash against Camden. Although they have home advantage, they may have to concede it with many players in the squad needing to be in London on April 14 for FA Cup weekend.
An all-Manchester cup clash at Wembley means the team’s United and City fans are hoping for a double serving of cup success on a busy weekend. South Manchester chairman Jonny Davis told me: "There’s still room in our trophy cabinet for the Morrison Trophy, but we must not underestimate Camden Park."
Josh Marks’ Camden are the underdogs to reach the final but victory over South Manchester would keep the final in London.
* Quote of the week goes to Hendon United Sports Club manager David Garbacz. He said: "After all the controversy surrounding the scheduling of this game, we thought we had got away with it with the weather, but alas Manchester proved to be the only place in the country without snow and so the game went ahead as planned." What were the odds on that?