Rapid start did not stop me from having a reality check
So, my first foray into management started on a positive note. We beat Rapid Banta 3-2 in a pre-season friendly, although the day got off to a bad start when we arrived late. And it got worst as we realised that Matt Leader had the kit — and he was not playing. He was in bed.
So we had to delay kick-off and direct a bleary-eyed Matt to the ground. Chairman Jonathan Adelman is not best-pleased about my suggestion of buying each player a TomTom.
My first team talk went down well as I used virtually every cliché in the book. I have promised myself that I will maintain a calm approach and play the good cop in my dual role alongside Adam Fegan. He pulls off the hair-dryer treatment much more effectively. In any case, I’m not one to shout and swear or throw tea-cups. That was until I realised that we had also forgotten the water bottles, which given the scorching temperatures, was not clever.
I quickly learnt that Sunday morning football management is not that glamorous. With kick-off fast approaching, and still no sign of our kit, I had to buy a combination of energy drinks and water for the boys. Nursing an injured thumb, I tried to balance the bottles along with the loose change.
At this point, I would like to clarify my own playing situation to my buddies at the gym. I have decided to take a step back from playing, although I will still register, as the injuries continue to come thick and fast while my recovery rate is slowing down.
The seasonal crossover with cricket is also problematic. While targeting a promotion push in the JC MSFL Division One, I still harbour ambitions of helping London Maccabi Vale avoid relegation from the Middlesex Sunday Cricket League.
Another man who has taken up a managerial challenge is David Garbacz, the new boss of Hendon United A. Taking over from Benji Wreschner, who led the team to the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup, Garbacz has employed Wingate & Finchley’s Anthony Limbrick to ensure the squad is in top shape for the big September 6 kick-off.
Garbacz said: “Fitness is a big key this season and I believe we will be the fittest team in the league this year.” The Hammers are shaping up well in pre-season with wins over Bafana Bafana (5-0) and Montana (4-2). Other teams are welcome to email hopes for the season, players to watch out for and transfer news.
Zig Zag manager DJ Neal Cohen is one of many Spurs fans unhappy with the design of the new home strip. He said: “It’s disgusting. I won’ be buying it.”
Harlow Town’s Israel goalkeeper Nathanel Elraz has become a cult hero with the fans with his extrovert mannerisms including doing his stretches on the touchline barefoot.
Football agent Lee Earl said: “When he comes out to warm up on the touchline they sing Israel’s No. 1.”
Elraz, who works at the information desk at Kings Cross Station, makes his way to matches by train and runs to the ground from the station
Boys Town Jerusalem are hosting a golf day at Dyrham Park on September 3. For details email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday was spent in Colchester with the Israel national squad. I rejoined them in Belfast for Wednesday’s friendly. Off duty at the weekend, I will be in Antwerp for the stag of my future brother-in-law, Jon Tiller.
I expect to have plenty of gossip next week but have promised to abide my stag rules, so what goes on tour, stays on tour ...