Norstar and Raiders to merge

Two leading MSFL clubs agreed to a merger this week in a bid to bring success to their loyal fans.

Norstar and North London Raiders – fierce rivals in previous seasons – will now compete as Norstar London Raiders under the Chairmanship of Jonny Adelman.

With Raiders A boss Rob Richman standing down, Norstar A boss Phil Peters will lead the first team which will combine the brightest talent from the two sides, with a few additional summer signings on the cards.

The club will also be putting out a strong B and C team, with the management teams to be confirmed, although Raiders have announced that Oli Shorts and Rich Abrams will be stepping down from their positions with the B team.

Peters told the JC how excited he was about the merging of these two great institutions of Jewish football

He said: "Whilst it will be emotional to say goodbye to Norstar, the club has served a great purpose and now we move on as Norstar London Raiders.

"I'm looking forward to moving aside from the boardroom to concentrate solely on managing the first team in the coming year.

"It will be difficult without my long-serving assistant Jamie Slavin, who will take up the role of vice-chairman, alongside me, but I hope to announce the appointment of new assistant in the coming weeks.

"I'd like to thank Jamie and on behalf of both of us thank all the players and supporters who have been on the journey with us over the last five years.

"Rob always told me that I'd be replacing him at Raiders although I’m not sure either of us thought that it would happen like this.

"There are some very big shoes to fill and it’s no coincidence that he and Sir Alex both announced their retirements on the very same day."

News of the merger had to be kept on ice until Raiders's survival was guaranteed so as to avoid any allegations of foul play, with the two teams going head-to-head this weekend.

Richman said: "I have had a brilliant seven years and can't thank Jonny Adelman enough for asking me to take over all those years ago.

"It is wrench to leave and I will miss everything about managing this special Raiders side as it is all I have known for a long time.

"However, it is the right time to move on as other commitments in my life mean that I don’t have the necessary time to do the job the justice it deserves.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the players for their dedication and wonderful spirit that makes this club so special.

"I am excited though at the merging of Raiders with Norstar. I think this safeguards the future of both clubs and I know Phil has big plans for the A-team next season."

Club chairman Jonny Adelman told JC Sport: "Raiders will celebrate its 22nd season in the MSFL in season 2013/14. To remain vibrant for that length of time it's been essential to reenergise the organisation from time to time.

"The merger with Norstar, a club with a long and proud history and an ethos similar to Raiders provides a great opportunity to do just that once again. I believe the merger will enable the Club to push on in our quest to deliver major silverware.

"It is a bittersweet moment for the Club. We're excited by the merger and with the playing and management talent that it brings to Raiders.

"At the same time it is the end of an era with Rob Richman stepping down as A team manager. Rob has been a superb manager and guardian of the Club, commanding respect from both his team and opposition alike. As a one-club man he remains an integral part of Raiders going forward and will work alongside me to ensure the Club continues to go from strength to strength.

"I must also pay tribute to Oli Shorts who has nurtured an emerging group of players in to a competitive team.

"Phil becomes only the sixth A-team manager in our 22-year history and I am confident that he will be a worthy successor to Rob."

Last updated: 4:22pm, May 9 2013