Will a historic victory Chig keep Sugar sweet?
Wingate & Finchley could be packed to the rafters on Sunday night as Chigwell Athletic B attempt to wrestle the trophy from holders London Maccabi Lions A.
There could be JWAGS aplenty as the East Londoners look to build on their memorable semi-final victory over last season’s Premier Division champions Hendon United A in the semi-finals. Should they pull off what would be one of the biggest shocks in Jewish football this century, I can see Chigwellian Sir Alan Sugar making a bid to purchase the club from current chairman Richard Slater.
Russell Green’s troops are taking the match very seriously and they are even staying in a hotel near to the ground. Finals are rarely classic matches and as most of the Chigwell team are new to the surface at the Harry Abrahams Stadium, I just hope they don’t freeze on the big stage against Lions’ big guns. The Rowley Lane club have had a tough season and the only thing that could stop them from winning is a lack of hunger.
I do not expect a goal feast but believe that unless Chigwell can knock their illustrious opponents out of their stride, a JC League Cup hat-trick looms for the Lions. On the eve of the final, I received a good luck message from Chigwell defender Bradley Frankel who is currently turning heads in the Australian local leagues.
Frankel, who would’ve been sure to start had he been available, admitted: “The chances of getting back in time is zero as I have training in Sydney on April 14. Pre-season has nearly finished, and with five defenders in the squad, I was not certain that I’d make the cut.
Looking ahead to Sunday, “I would like to wish the boys the best of luck. Playing with most of them for practically a decade, I always knew what they were capable of.
“The boys proved against Hendon, when they are all switched on they have the potential to beat anyone on their day.
“They truly are a great bunch of boys, with fantastic support and management behind them and that is the reason they are where they are.
“The players in the squad reflect the team spirit, management and coaching which attracts so many names. I know from first hand experience that any one of those boys could play in the Premier Division. My thoughts will be with the team on Sunday and I look forward to being part of the team in the next final.”
Closer to home and injury-prone Brady Maccabi Masters defender Alan Younger, whom I played alongside at North West Neasden A, has been ruled out for the rest of the season after snapping his Achilles tendon. South Manchester Maccabi have announced that they will take 68 players and officials to the annual Jom Havoetbal.
The group includes a senior team plus two junior sides aged under nine and under 10. London Maccabi Lions are planning another youth football festival. Following the success of Maccabi Nice’s trip last summer, the Arkley club have invited Jerusalem-based Efrat, in Gush Etsion, and Baka/Katamon in Central Jerusalem to join them for a seven-a-side competition involving 13-14-year-olds at Rowley Lane in June. My player of the week this week is a character who is whiter than white.
He is used to getting a frosty reception but last week covered every blade of grass and frustrated both teams. Mr Snow flew in from the north to make a fleeting appearance before disappearing shortly after the final whistle. The wintry conditions wiped out the entire JC MSFL league and cup programme last Sunday.
The four teams involved in the Peter Morrison Trophy semi-final - North West Neasden A, FC Team A, Hendon United A and Redbridge Jewish Care A will try again. There is also an important top-of-the-table clash in Division One involving leaders Glenthorne United and Montana Boca United A. And would you believe that, despite the current climate, Belmont & Edgware start their cricket season on Sunday.