Avram’s still a hero in my eyes

Well… it was fun while it lasted. Written off, ridiculed and abused. That is how Avram Grant had been treated by the national press and the football fraternity for the majority of his nine month tenure as manager of Chelsea.

Last week, in the Champions League final, he was a coat of paint away from making the critics choke on their words, but sadly his slipper, I mean skipper, let him down when it mattered most. To be consistent, the argument is that John Terry and Nicolas Anelka should also be shown the door as they were the reasons Chelsea didn’t win, not Grant. I am glad that he made a dignified departure rather than move upstairs.

He came away from Stamford Bridge with his head held high and is now a cult figure in his homeland after giving Sir Alex Ferguson, a manager with one of the best CVs of all time, a run for his money in the league and Europe. Imagine how dangerous the Israeli will be once he gains his Uefa PRO Licence qualifications.

FC Team have announced that they are making the move into Saturday football. Joining London Lions, Mitch Young is taking most of his Sunday A team squad to play in the Middlesex County League, a step seven league under FA affiliation which is the starting league leading up to semi and professional football.

“Whilst I am still of a certain age and have the enthusiasm that I do I wanted to test ourselves against the best opposition,” explained Young, “while at the same time providing a good platform for all FC Team players to play at

“My ambitions are clear. I want to try to take FC Team to the top, and whilst I am realistic in the fact that we may never be a professional team, I firmly believe that given our achievements so far, there is no reason why in 10 years we cannot be in the Ryman League.

“For the players within the club that take their football more seriously there is no better league to play in and to improve. I leave the Sunday A team in the very capable hands of Adam Newsome who has impressed in his first season in management. I have full confidence in him that he can continue what I have started.”

Ben Simon will spearhead the club’s B team while the C team have folded.

It’s all change at Chigwell Athletic too. Russell Green, who led the club’s B team to the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup final and fourth place in Division One in the season just gone, has taken over from Russell Brill as A team manager. Brill, Greg Bookman and Danny Berg will coach the team.

And in a move likened to Kevin Keegan returning to Newcastle for a second stint, Richard Bronzite will take charge of Chigwell B.

Bronzite has also revealed that “we may see at least two new Essex teams next season”. He added: “Alex Avram is running one and James Ryan the other.”

Another man on the move is Ben Winston who has stood down as joint-manager of London Maccabi Lions Having helped the club win five trophies out of a possible nine, he said: “With Wingate and the Maccabiah I have a bit too much on my plate so am taking a bit of time out. Lions, however, will always be my club and I will be back very soon.”

    Last updated: 10:22am, May 30 2008