It was great having the cream of the crop on the top table

By Danny Caro, January 27, 2011
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Not even the late withdrawal of Avram Grant could dampen the mood at the Meir Panim Football Frenzy event at Spurs last weekend.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience as QC, where I hosted a panel featuring David Pleat, Oldham Athletic's Dean Furman and Simon Corney, and Barry Silkman.

Poor old Avram was bed-ridden with flu. He missed a great night although it was a shame that players and officials from the various Maccabi Leagues did not show their support.

The theme of the evening was Football – a nice job for a Jewish boy? The panel offered something for everyone with a player, an ex-manager, a chairman and an agent. Furman's comments on the sacrifices that he's made as a young Jewish boy were of great interest. With footballers capable of earning serious money, Dean said that he would not have been able to live the dream without the support of two special people. "The schlepping my parents did rushing home from work to get me to where I needed to get to was so important. You need that support behind you as if you don't you can fall by the wayside."

With so few home-grown professional Jewish footballers, it was the perfect opportunity for parents and youngsters looking to break into the game to find out exactly what is needed to make it to the top.

● It seems that almost everyone is talking about female football officials this week. Following the inappropriate actions of the Sky Sports football team, I found out from Laurence Thorne, chairman of the Maccabi Junior Football League, that they have two ladies on the booka, one of whom is Jewish. "They are both excellent and we're pleased to have them on board," said Thorne. Unfortunately, neither was available to comment.

● I copped some stick from players of Redbridge Jewish Care C in the build-up to last weekend's JC Cyril Anekstein Cup tie against North West Neasden A. Neasden had thumped RJC's Division Three rivals Glenthorne United A 12-2 in the Peter Morrison Trophy the previous week and I based my 14-0 online prediction on the fact that RJC were fielding a depleted squad, with only eight available on the eve of the game.

I'm glad to say that they proved me wrong. In fact, they almost left me with egg on my face. The east Londoners produced a top-drawer performance, and even took the lead. In the end they fell just short, going down 3-2.

Paul Sanders, the RJC keeper said: "It was a superb effort which unfortunately just wasn't enough to give us the win. A narrow defeat against the current Premiership champions and arguably the best team in Jewish football, who sit three divisions above us, shows how much quality we have in our team. It also shows our amazing team spirit."

● Dmitriy Salita is opening his own boxing academy in New York. Salita, 28, has designed the program that combines fitness, strength and self-defence.

● There are two important games in the JC MSFL Premier Division on Sunday. Leaders Redbridge A take on Faithfold A while Neasden A host Hendon A.

    Last updated: 2:31pm, January 27 2011