We couldn’t get shirty or shorty, but played our socks off

By Danny Caro, December 17, 2009
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This was Sunday morning football at its best, or worst, as the case may be. In the build-up to the Maccabi League Division One promotion tussle involving North London Raiders A and Redbridge Jewish Care B, Adam Fegan and I were going through our pre-match preparations.

We’d named the team, had discussed tactics and then told the boys to get kitted up. The only problem was that we didn’t know who had the kit. With the previous week’s game called off, we were concerned that perhaps it was one of the boys who was away. Fortunately not. Then it dawned on midfield anchor man Jonny Shapiro that he left it at home, in Stanmore. Only problem was that we were in Uxbridge.

Added to that, no-one had told me that we owned just one set of shorts and socks and with the away kit safely locked away in my garage, our options were as follows; playing in bibs, playing in skins, get our hands on some kit or postpone the match.

Cometh the hour, cometh the woman. Mrs Shapiro, wife of a now very pale looking Jonny, came to the rescue. With her petrol tank running on empty and her Satnav packing up, I joined Lawrence Gold, father of striker Jacob, to find Lucy, and our kit.

It was like an episode from Challenge Anneka as poor Lucy didn’t know where she was, and neither did we! Fortunately, my cricket convoy skills helped me save the damsel in distress and the goods exchanged hands in good time. We ended up winning 4-0. Consequently, Adam suggested that we forget the kit every week but I’m sure that Lucy would have a thing or two to say about that!

The start of the Peter Morrison Trophy tie between UJS Norstar B and Montana Boca United A was also delayed, not for clothing purposes but due to a burnt-out car on the pitch at Copthall.Tuesday morning was spent in the company of England manager Fabio Capello, Sir Trevor Brooking, David Dein and John Motson at the official opening of Barnet FC’s £10 million 44-acre training complex, The Hive, which is used by several Maccabi League and Masters teams. Ethan Kessel, a member of Barnet’s Under Eight team, did his best to catch the eye.

Traditionally a good time-keeper, Mr Capello was running late but I grabbed a few words from Sir Trevor. Discussing his vision for the future of the game. “Football is becoming more technical and faster,” he said. He would like to see “more full-time coaches come in to work with the younger age groups” and “encourage youngsters to stay with local clubs where they would get more first-team opportunities”.

Central defender Simon Allen has rejoined Temple Fortune following a short spell at Pinner JFC. He has made 236 appearances for the club and 1st XI Clubman on four occasions. But while one long-standing player returns, another has decided to call it a day.

David Summer made 220 appearances for Fortune after debuting in 1996. He has been forced to retire due to a recurring knee injury. Summer said: “I’ve already had three operations on this knee so I’ve known that I have been playing on borrowed time for the last few years.”

Listen out for me on JNET radio from 9pm on Monday.

    Last updated: 12:05pm, December 17 2009