Jacobson looking to overcome the odds at Oldham
The futures of two top Jewish footballers are up in the air at the moment. Joe Jacobson, the former Wales Under 21 captain, has been told that he can find another club by Oldham Athletic. In 2006, Jacobson became the first British Jew to play in the Football League since Barry Silkman. He moved to Bristol Rovers a year later and was then signed by former Oldham manager David Penney just over 12 months ago. But new boss Paul Dickov decided to release him.
Joe told me this week that once he regains full fitness from a groin niggle, he is keen to stay at the club and fight for his place. Credit to him.
Joe said: "With a bit of determination, I'm keen to prove myself. I've had lots of injuries over the past couple of seasons but I'm happy at the club and want to show the fans what I can do. I still have a contract to the end of the season, but once I'm fit, I want to play and not sit on the bench. I would consider a loan deal."
Scott Shulton has been training with Southampton, under the watchful eye of Les Reed, who coached Shulton at last summer's Maccabiah Games.
● As mentioned last week, seven new teams will be officially welcomed to the league at the AGM on Monday night. Glenthorne United B, Inter BWood, Los Blancos, North London Raiders B, North West Neasden C, Shirley Park and Temple Fortune B will start in Division Four.
Clubs will have to vote on several key proposed rule changes. The first one recommends that all teams must pay a £50 fines float no later than seven days before the start of the season so that if a fine is received during the season, the money will be deducted from this float. Given the problems the league experienced with teams folding through lack of funds and other forfeiting at short notice, I think this is a very good idea.
The other one is slightly more controversial. It reads: "Where a club fields more than one team in differing divisions, no player from a multi-team club is allowed to move down more than one division at any time including cup games. The only exception will be a player who has moved up and only played one game in the higher team." Despite belonging to a multi-team club, this also has my vote.
● The JC MSFL summer transfer window has been a hive of activity. Defending champions North West Neasden A have brought in some top talent in the shape of Sam Sloma, Jake Furman, George Fierstone, Faithfold pair Paul Lenchner, Richard Baum, Elliot Greene and Lee Platt.
FC Team manager Mitch Young has also been busy. He has snapped up Whetstone Wanderers' Andy Croll and re-signed Mitch Lassman from Redbridge Jewish Care for the club's Saturday team. Having recently announced a return to Sunday morning management, Young has also signed keeper Justin Simons, Marc Hecht and Dave Marcus from MSFL rivals while Dan Silverman, Ollie Segal, Jon Breger, Rich Sternberg and Richard Salmon have pledged to play for the club both days of the weekend.
Chigwell Athletic have been invited to play in Division One next season. Player-manager Richard Slater believes that the return of striker Steve Summers to the club is a better signing than Joe Cole going by Liverpool. Other old boys returning include Daniel Castle, Adam Shafron, Russell Brill and Michael Witzenfeld from neighbours RJC while Sam Rosenthal (Lions) and James Ryan (FC Team) have also rejoined.
● Barnet are holding an Asian Football Festival tomorrow with Paul Fairclough, who holds at executive role at the club's training ground, keen to unearth a local talent. The scheme includes matches, coaching sessions and football forums. Liverpool have also hosted a similar event. With so many MSFL teams playing and training at Barnet's Centre of Excellence, I think that it would be worth their while to hold a similar project for Jewish footballers.
● Hendon United Football Club have undergone a name change to represent a merger with the under 18 club HISFC. All teams will be called Hendon United Sports Club (HUSC).