Moving club is the easy option, but not everyone takes it

By Danny Caro, February 3, 2011
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Loyalty is a word that counts for very little at all levels of football these days. Starting at the top, we saw some last-ditch big money moves in the Premiership transfer window with players such as Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll, who only recently had pledged their love of their clubs, moving on for mega-bucks.

The world of MSFL football sees players moving from club to club from season to season, sometimes even more than once a season, believing that the grass is greener on the other side.

I have absolutely no problem with boys moving through ambition, wanting to improve themselves or to play with their mates, but without loyalty in Jewish football, it can all go pear-shaped very quickly.

That is why Faithfold continues to be the role model. By their own admission, the last few seasons have been a struggle, a time of transition, but it appears that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Although they have bolstered the ranks with the addition of Michael Pearson, Paul Babai and Alex Kaye, the club has solid foundations with some of the players who helped the club become a giant still on the books. Striker Daryl Phillips continues to score goals, captain Alex Levack, who has had several approaches from North West Neasden, continues to lead the team by example. Both these men are winners on the pitch, and the new batch of players coming through can certainly learn a lot from them.

That's not forgetting Zuriel Solomon, the A team manager, who has done an excellent job in turning the club's fortunes around. Ben Lewis, Phillips former strike partner, has been helping out the B team in recent seasons while C team player-manager David Garson is another one-club man, now in his 21st season. The easy option would have been for them to sit back and say 'we've done our bit. It's time for someone else to step up', but they have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that the club they have built up and love does not become a distant memory.

These boys are the exception to the norm. There are others, including Chigwell Athletic's Richard Slater and Marc Silver of Redbridge Jewish Care. One other top performer who springs to mind is Aviel Schwarz, the Peter Pan of Jewish football. The London Maccabi Lions stalwart continues to be the heartbeat of the team. The wrong side of 45, his set-piece prowess is second to none. He lives, eats and breathes football and I believe that when considering the right changes to make to secure the future of the league, these are the individuals who should be asked. The one thing they have in common is the love playing football, Jewish football, and they continue to be great ambassadors for our game.

● North London Raiders C pair Matt Greene and Oli Shorts scooped my respective JC MSFL Player and Manager of the Month awards for January. Greene received praise from Shorts for "coming into the team and effortlessly slotting into the holding midfield role. He has become the Alex Song of Raiders C and, in my opinion, that is the highest praise I can give to anyone playing where he does".

Having endured a tough first half of the season, Shorts is finally starting to see an end product with talented young brothers Harry and Jack Franks giving the team a new dimension.

● The future looks bleak for Team JLGB. They had only nine players available for Sunday's match against Catford & Bromley. JLGB player-manager Robert Silverman said: "We are going to try and dip into the loan market, but if we are unable to put an 11-man team out again, it could be curtains."

Redbridge Jewish Care B are also in trouble after manager Michael Winehouse stepped down.

● Condolences go to the family and friends of Harold Feldman, who passed away last month. Feldman refereed in the Leeds Combination League for almost 20 years. He was also secretary of the Leeds branch of The Referees Association and of Leeds Maccabi FC.

    Last updated: 3:09pm, February 3 2011