Ben Haim's had more clubs than Jack Nicklaus, but so what?

I almost fell off my chair when I heard that Tal Ben Haim was returning to England in a playing capacity. No joke.

I thought he was past it, yesterday’s fish and chip paper, but then I checked his age. 32 – the perfect age for a defender. Just what Bob Pieters was looking for.

Even though he’s had more clubs than Jack Nicklaus, there’s no reason why Tal can’t do a job in the Championship. He’s fit and raring to go.

Although many believe his best years are behind him, he’s an international defender with 70-odd caps to his name. I’d describe as a useful addition.

* Several teams from the MGBSFL, MJSL and Maccabi Masters League started pre-season training this week. Temple Fortune are preparing for their 39th season in the London league and chairman Nigel Kyte hopes the new logo - Wear The Shirt, Respect The Badge - will instil a sense of pride for the players pulling on the Club’s famous yellow and red colours.

Fortune Old Boys’ Player of the Season Howard Wallis has agreed to take on the role of team manager and has already made an impression on the Masters ‘transfer market’. But he’s keen to keep his cards close to his chest for the moment.

James Ryan and Peter Kyte are still recupperating from respective knee injuries. Kyte said: “My left one has improved but my right one is still painful, meaning that I am teaching myself to shoot with my left foot... something I should have done 40 years ago!”

* Home is where the heart is for Ian Tussie who has returned to his roots at South Manchester Sports following a spell at successful spell at Oakwood.

Tussie believes exciting times lie ahead for the club following the first training session with new coach Paul Kirkham.

“The lads love Kirky; he’s tough but fair and there’s excitement at the prospect of working with him,” he said.

South kick off their season in a fortnight with a friendly against East Manchester. Marc Magid will manage South’s second team, with Jake Ailion his assistant.

* The credibility, or otherwise, of London Maccabi Vale’s challenge for promotion from the Chess Valley League will be known after the next two matches, according to club legend Adam Brand.

Having missed the defeat against Mill Hill Village, he made a rallying cry ahead of what he describes as a “must-win” clash against Lohana.

We need to all be ready and give the skipper a selection headache.”

* Simon Corney claims exciting times lie ahead for Oldham’s Athletic after they clinched a sponsorship deal with Sports Direct.

The chairman described the deal as “a landmark day for the club” in a move that sees the stadium named changed from Boundary Park to SportsDirect.com Park.

He said: “There is a lot going on at the club, with the construction of the new stand and the opportunities this affords us. It takes us to another level.”

* Germany eh. Who’d have thought … certainly none of the pundits I asked before the competition.
It was a case of close but no cigar for Tony Gold, Ian Tussie, Irving Modlin, David Garson, David Seligman and Jody Marks, who like me, went for Argentina.

Everyone else opted for Brazil and Spain. Remember them?

    Last updated: 12:04pm, July 18 2014