Ten years on and the memories just keep flooding back
This month marks my tenth year writing about Jewish sport, and in particular the MSFL. It's fair to say that I've had a number of highlights. Interviewing Sir Alan Ball at the league's 50th anniversary dinner has to be right up there. Then, in 2005, I received a standing ovation at the end-of-season awards for my coverage of the league.
And two years ago, minutes after winning the Premier Division title for the first time, the entire Hendon United A squad chanted my name in the changing room with the champagne spraying around. I was also there to see history made when, under Tony Gold, the Maccabi League rep team won the London Inter-League Cup for the first time.
I really have some great memories. One of the things that amuses me most is when teams get wound-up by my weekend previews. I've lost count of the number of messages I've received from managers on a Monday morning, thanking me for doing their teamtalks after my pearls of wisdom resulted in their side defying the odds and winning a game.
Teams have printed out my previews and stuck them on changing room walls in a bid to prove my predictions wrong. Experience has also taught me that, having recently come out of semi-retirement, never to tip my team to win as I've lost count of the times players have tried to get one over me.
North London Raiders B are in the midst of an injury crisis. Managed by Rob Richman, their promotion hopes have been hit by injuries to James Foley-Comer (broken leg), Dan Warwick (dislocated ankle), Matt Greene (torn ankle ligaments), Darren Gerard (torn cruciate ligaments), Nick Kenton (achilles and knee ligament strain) and Ori Raveh (torn thigh muscle).
Midfielder Jamie Freed hopes that anyone planning to make a Chanukah DVD of JC MSFL bloopers will not have seen his recent miss against Holy Mount Zion.
Freed is undoubtedly looking forward to 2009 after suffering a turbulent year, featuring a two-week fine on tour, the rumours of a move over the summer which did not materialise and the infamous incident in which he was chased around the park by a dog.
Ahead of next summer's Ashes, Raiders have signed a third Australian with Daniel Miller joining Steve Silver and Sam Fisher at the club. Rumour has it that gaffer Richman is keen to keep the Queen's English as the No. 1 language in the dressing room and will not tolerate any chants of Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi (vey).
Unlike most Maccabi League players, the Aussie trio turned down the traditional signing on incentive of two smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels. Instead, they have agreed to combine an end-of-season BBQ to coincide with the team awards.
Catford & Bromley Maccabi have signed keeper David Howard from Brixton Old Boys. Manager Lester Jacobs said: "The news is of much relief to our outfield players who have had to take turns in goal since the unexpected departure of Alex Krotosky during pre-season. Hopefully, from now on our goals against column will read with a tad more respectability."
Pure Orange Function Band have signed defender Jon Galloway.
London Lions central defender Adam Myeroff was forced to withdraw from the team's match HSCL Premier Division match at Buntingford as his wife went into labour. Myeroff had completed his pre-match warm-up but received a call and was forced to dash off. Fortunately he arrived in time to see Jessica Grace safely delivered.
Richard Reggel has withdrawn from the Team GB cricket squad competing at the 2009 Maccabiah for personal reasons. He has been replaced by Robert Yule.