Selectors would have done well to listen to steeplechaser Jo

By Danny Caro, August 21, 2008
While the rest of the country is caught up in Olympics fever, spare a thought for Jo Ankier. Last month she was devastated to miss out on the Team GB squad. The selectors chose Hattie Dean ahead of her as the third member of the 3,000 metres steeplechase team.

Third in the national Olympic trials, which Dean failed to attend because of a fractured tibia, Ankier told me that "there was no way Dean would be fit in time". How right she was.

Dean admitted: "I feel like I am fit, but the ankle is unable to handle running quite yet." She has been doing lots of aqua jogging so should've perhaps considered a late change of discipline and go in for the synchronised swimming.

The British selectors have a lot to answer for. Ankier, 26, still harbours dreams of making the London 2012 squad and, if she is overlooked in terms of the new crop of funded athletes, it would be great if the community pools together to ensure she has the finances to give her a fighting chance. Failing that, she might consider representing Israel.

Hendon United A have pulled off what is arguably the signing of the summer after snapping up London Maccabi Lions A hotshot Michael Pearson. The former Aldershot Town and Farnborough marksman is joined by midfield maestro Ben Joseph in a double swoop by Great Britain Maccabiah boss Jonathan Kestenbaum.

Pearson won JC MSFL Player of the Season in 2006 and is sure to give the Hammers another dimension.

And with Saul Conway and Avidan Last already at the club, it appears that Hendon will be the team to push champions North West Neasden A for the title.

Neasden will argue that their latest signing, Lions midfielder Ricky Kennet, is just as good. Co-manager Jamie Cole told me: "He's a great lad and a fantastic footballer.

"Technically, he's one of the best footballers in the league and has got great delivery on set-pieces."

Joint-manager Daniel Fox added: "I've been on about bringing Ricky here and finally we've done it. Our chairman Sammy Carr said to me that if it doesn't work out, I'm the one getting the sack."

Given the three major losses, a Lions source said that "they will prioritise winning the Peter Morrison Trophy this season".

In pre-season action, two goals from Andrew Binstock plus one from Virgil Levy earned Montana Boca United A a 3-1 victory over South Mancs A.

Jamie Weinrich and Josh Hambling helped Division Five new boys Glenthorne United B beat Southgate Harmen B 2-0.

The only bad news for Glenthorne was that Craig Silver, my assistant, broke his wrist in two places following a collision with Grant Taylor.

FC Team A won a seven-goal thriller against East London Knights. Adam Rones (2), Mitch Young and an own goal accounted for Team's goals. James Ryan (2) and Zach Forest replied.

Knights assistant-manager Michael Marks said: "We were unfortunate not to grab an equaliser at the death but that's football. We are still making naive errors that are costing us but in time I'm sure they will be eradicated."

Temple Fortune completed their second friendly with a 3-1 victory against FC Marylebone. Fortune came from a goal down thanks to strikes from Ollie Squires, John Fisher, Paul Walker.

Adam Seres scored UJS Norstar's first goal in Jewish football in the recent 2-1 defeat against Chigwell Athletic B. The strike made amends for an earlier own goal.

Seventeen teams have entered the Maccabi Masters Football League. North London Raiders will compete in the veterans league for the first time.

Daryl Phillips will help Zuriel Solomon with managerial duties at Faithfold A.

Jon Nitka has replaced Mickey Collins as manager of Division One new boys South Mancs A.

Chigwell Athletic player Russell Brill might consider pushing for a place in the London 2012 cycling squad after completing two races for the Kids in need charity. He finished the London to Southend 60-mile ride in 3:24 and the London Triathlon sprint distance in 1:31.

Boxergirl Laura Saperstein did not break sweat in her first fight in Thailand. The bout was stopped just 10 seconds into the first round.


Last updated: 6:43pm, September 9 2008