Israel's failure is down to one man
So, another qualifying campaign, another tale of failure for Israel. And the buck has to stop with manager Dror Kashtan. Placed in one of the easiest groups, his over-cautious approach has come back to slap him in the face. With players such as Yossi Benayoun in his prime, it’s a crying shame that the team has failed to hit the heights once again.
The Israel Football Association must now pick the right man. They should follow the FA and IFA and go for a foreigner. Avram Grant and Eyal Berkovic have been touted, but they need someone who will get the best out of the squad. Berkovic is not everyone’s cup of tea in Israel while Grant has already had a go. In this game, you should never look back.
I was interviewed on JNET radio and the subject of player loyalty and poaching came up. One of my biggest regrets has been chopping and changing clubs. I played cricket for Hampstead for 20 years but other than that, since joining the Maccabi leagues, I have been around the block a fair bit.
If I could turn back time, I would take a leaf out of what the likes of Alex Levack, Ben Lewis, Zuriel Solomon, Daryl Phillips and David Garson have done and been a one-club player. Faithfold have been the benchmark for years and although they have struggled to maintain standards in recent seasons, they have a history to be proud of.
It’s not always the case that the grass is greener as internal politics can be just as frustrating as a lack of success. There is nothing better than proving everyone wrong and turning your team into a winning team. I did just that at Casual Nomads where we went from zeroes to heroes.
To many, the MSFL is about playing with your mates. But I urge any players new to the league to stick with their clubs, find that winning formula and build up some momentum.
Josh Bentley, the former MSFL Player of the Year, has been ruled out until Chanukah after breaking a metatarsal.
Blizzard Storm manager Simon Linden was left red-faced on Sunday when he forget to hand the names of his four substitutes to referee Stuart Ansher before kick-off. He lightened the mood during an injury stoppage with a Mourinho style run on to the middle of the pitch to rally his troops.
Team GB star Scott Shulton has joined the coaching team at Pinner JFC. The Ebbsfleet United midfielder will be responsible for developing club’s Under 16 and 18 squads. Adam Field, Pinner’s Head of Club Development, said: “We’re confident that he is going to be a great asset to our top-end age group youth squads.”
MAL will be looking to complete back-to-back Maccabi League titles on Sunday when they travel to Casual Nomads at Shenley.
I’ve received plenty of feedback to my recent article about Jewish cricket and can report that several stalwarts want to help resurrect the Maccabi League committee. Things are looking brighter on the playing front as well. A group of talented colts are hitting the heights at Radlett CC. Since returning from the Maccabiah, Jake Reza has been performing to a consistently high standard with bat and ball.
Left-arm spinner Simeon Cohen, 13, Marcus Freeman and Josh Hirschowitz have also caught the eye. Daniel Cohen, 17, finished as leading wicket-taker and helped the 3rds maintain their Division Four status.
My MSFL managerial debut was one to remember. North London Raiders A were trailing North West Neasden B four times but came back on each occasion to take a point. Early days I know, but it appears that I’m more King Kev than Mourinho.