Caro's column

Jewish football - don't knock it until you've tried it

By Danny Caro, February 11, 2011

For some, no make that quite a few, around about 1,500 people in fact, the MSFL is the jewel in the crown. The numbers are lower in the MJSL but clearly, the demand is still there.

The rules are simple. You have to be Jewish to play. Rules are rules. Some people believe that the league has become stale and is in need of freshening up but the majority are of the view that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Moving club is the easy option, but not everyone takes it

By Danny Caro, February 3, 2011

Loyalty is a word that counts for very little at all levels of football these days. Starting at the top, we saw some last-ditch big money moves in the Premiership transfer window with players such as Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll, who only recently had pledged their love of their clubs, moving on for mega-bucks.

The world of MSFL football sees players moving from club to club from season to season, sometimes even more than once a season, believing that the grass is greener on the other side.


It was great having the cream of the crop on the top table

By Danny Caro, January 27, 2011

Not even the late withdrawal of Avram Grant could dampen the mood at the Meir Panim Football Frenzy event at Spurs last weekend.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience as QC, where I hosted a panel featuring David Pleat, Oldham Athletic's Dean Furman and Simon Corney, and Barry Silkman.

Poor old Avram was bed-ridden with flu. He missed a great night although it was a shame that players and officials from the various Maccabi Leagues did not show their support.


Match abandoned because the pitch was never playable

By Danny Caro, January 20, 2011

What's the most bizarre reason you've heard for a football match being abandoned? Rain, a thunderstorm, fighting. Not this time. Just when I thought that I'd heard it all, along comes another, an absolute classic.

The players from Pinner JFC and Los Blancos were tucking into their half-time oranges at the JC MSFL Division Four contest when Les Conway, the Pinner chairman, informed both teams and the referee that the match could not continue. Why, I hear you ask? Because the pitch was unplayable, apparently.


Star qualities will drive Maccabi sport to another level

By Danny Caro, January 13, 2011

This year looks set to be a tough one for amateur sport. With numbers declining in competitive football and cricket nationwide, it is no surprise that the MSFL has lost a third team.

Maccabi GB have picked a good 'un in Michael Ziff. Once he takes over as chairman from Stuart Greenberg, he will have to address some big issues. The pair will work closely during the next few months to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.

A sporting all-rounder, Ziff is passionate about driving more young people into Jewish cricket with the ultimate goal of setting up a Jewish super-club.


Kayal: I'll take the plaudits but I'm no Neil Lennon yet

By Danny Caro, January 6, 2011

Anyone who saw Sunday's Old Firm derby would've been impressed by the performance of Biram Kayal. The Israeli would be the first to admit that one swallow does not make a summer but it was a hugely encouraging display from one so young.

He did everything it said on the packet, according to manager Neil Lennon, and already the comparisons between the player and manager have started.

Martin O'Neill played a huge part in Lennon's career and Kayal could not have a better mentor .


Brits shine in Sydney

By Danny Caro, December 29, 2010

It has been a good few days for the Brits down under. While our cricketers have been making hay in the fourth test in Brisbane, two Maccabi athletes have been catching the eye at the Maccabi Australia International Games in Sydney, which runs until January 2.

With delegations from 14 countries, including Maccabi Scotland, there have been eye-catching displays in a competition featuring sports from football to ten-pin bowling on Bondi Beach.


So, which of the Israelis will pack a punch on Boxing Day?

By Danny Caro, December 22, 2010

It has been a frustrating season for Israelis in the Premier League for one reason or another so here's a quick rough guide for anyone hoping to see the top Israeli imports in action on Boxing Day. Chelsea's Yossi Benayoun continues his recuperation after tearing his Achilles tendon. Tamir Cohen played the last ten minutes of Bolton's 1-0 defeat against Sunderland but he is unlikely to feature in Saturday's clash at home to West Brom after flying home to visit his father in a Tel Aviv hospital.


Football documentary will put serious issue on the map

By Danny Caro, December 16, 2010

Ivor Baddiel's short film highlighting antisemitism in football launches early next year, and for the people in the community who care passionately about the issue, it cannot come soon enough.

The Y-Word deals with a topic close to the bone among all Jewish supporters, as well as many Sunday morning footballers who have suffered verbal provocation against non-Jewish opposition.


Euro squad is the strongest yet, but is it missing the point?

By Danny Caro, December 9, 2010

Ben Winston's European Maccabi Games squad is very strong. Of that there is no doubt. Too strong? Quite possibly. Maccabiah standard, some might say. But as is often the case, there is an argument that this competition should be for boys who ply their trade in the Maccabi League, both north and south, week in, week out. Otherwise, the usual suspects will continue to be selected for the big competitions.