With promotion in the bag, I'm ready for the big boys

Promotion in my first season of football management is not down to beginner's luck, I would like to think. Eight months of being driven mad by Adam Fegan, my co-manager, have been worth it.

Last Sunday, our team, North London Raiders A, clinched a return to the JC MSFL Premier Division, after a two-year gap, following a 3-0 win over Oakwood.

It has been a joy to watch the boys develop in a very tight division. We finished it very strongly with seven consecutive victories, a total of six clean sheets and not one red card all season.

As Adam said: "We have not relied on individuals, but been extremely disciplined, organised and work hard for one another. We have well and truly defied the odds with our achievement.

"We now hope our B's can get the result on Sunday and secure the Division Two title, and in doing so complete what has truly been a memorable season for Raiders as a club. We are truly on the up."

But while Adam looks forward to a couple of months of rest and relaxation with the family before we plot out challenge against the big boys, there will be no rest for the wicked as I move straight into cricket mode.

Injury has prevented me from playing any sport since November and I hope that rustiness does not play a part in Sunday's trip to Home Counties Premier side Beaconsfield in the Conference Cup.

I've had a gentle run out in a couple of pre-season nets as I thought it would be best to avoid embarrassment in the high-profile tournament. However, I came away from my first practice session contemplating my future after being clean bowled first ball by Jon 'Helen' Daniels.

● I haven't seen many Jewish footballers claim a hat-trick at Wingate & Finchley, so take a bow Adam Ellis. The HMH Purple Under 13s' striker deserves special praise for mastering the big pitch. He certainly had the X-factor in the Orion Challenge Cup final.

● Wingate & Finchley are holding a Open Day trials for their youth teams at the Abrahams Stadium on May 3. Chairman Aron Sharpe welcomes top Jewish talent in the Under 14, 15 and 16 categories. The club are looking for players of district or centre of excellence standard to play for teams in a semi-professional or senior status league and also compete in games against professional academies. For details, email aron@wingatefinchley.com.

● London Maccabi Lions have had their Charter Standard renewed for a further three years. A club spokesman said: "We are looking forward to taking the club to a new level."

Details about junior trials for next season can be found on www.londonlions.com.

● HMH JYC are holding a fundraising football match involving ex-player, their parents and managers at Wingate & Finchley on May 13. For details, email: hmh@sky.com.

    Last updated: 12:12pm, April 29 2010