Danny Caro's Premier Division review

Season 2013/14 went right to wire in the top-flight, with Hendon breaking NLR's hearts after over-coming a mammoth fixture backlog on their way to the title, capping a memorable treble-winning campaign. Danny Caro analysis the performance of the teams.

1. HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A
League record: Pl. 18, W. 15, D. 3, L. 0, F. 46, A. 10, Pts. 48
Players of the season: Greg Corin, Ari Last, Yoav Kestenbaum
Best buys: Avi Korman, Yishai Last
Best result: 4-2 vs Oakwood (league), 2-1 vs Flixton (cup)
Biggest win: 8-0 vs LML Blue (league), 17-1 vs Boca (cup)
Worst result: 4-1 vs Apoel (LSCC)
Heaviest defeat: : 4-1 vs Apoel (only defeat))
Games failed to score in: 1
Clean sheets: 11
Top Scorer: Yishai Last 18
DC Rating: Under David Garbacz, Hendon have turned into a well-oiled winning machine. They like a fast start, but if plan A doesn’t work, there’s always on impact sub or two on the bench who can execute plan B. Greg Corin and Ari Last ensured they bossed the all-important midfield areas virtually every week, with young gun Yoav Kestenbaum and the evergreen Avidan Last popping up with crucial goals. Elevation suited Yishai Last, with Russell Corin pulling off the big saves whenever called upon. Wonder kids Avi Korman Ari Nevies and Yehuda Korman performed to a level well beyond their tender years, while Ben Kon rarely put a foot wrong. They ticked all the boxes, played with spirit, style and smiles on their faces and in terms of consistency, they were untouchable. 10/10

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2. NORSTAR LONDON RAIDERS A
League record: Pl. 18, W. 14, D. 3, L. 1, F. 37, A. 12, Pts. 45
Players of the season: David Rhodes, Jake Doffman, Matt Stock, Jonny Kay
Best buys: Jake Doffman, JJ Spiro
Best result: 3-2 vs Oakwood
Biggest win: 6-0 vs FC Team
Worst result: 2-0 vs Brady
Heaviest defeat: : 2-0 vs Brady
Games failed to score in: 1
Clean sheets: 9
Top Scorer: Matt Stock 13
WAGS favourites: Matt Stock
Most improved: Jake Doffman
DC Rating: L’Orange played with a new-found maturity and were desperately unlucky not to win the title. They played some exhilarating tika-taka football and proved that they are anything but a one-trick pony. Whether on 3G or grass, Phil Peters’s merry men played the game the right way and notably, they did the double over defending champions Faithfold, bogey team FC Team A and drew with Hendon twice, and were undefeated until December. They ended their league campaign on March 2 and could then only watch on helplessly as Hendon devoured their big lead. They also enjoyed success in the cup, but failed to produce their best on the big stage at Wingate. Keeper Jake Doffman enjoyed an excellent first season, with Matt Stock the main man up top. With one or two big signings expected over the summer, second season syndrome shouldn’t be an issue. 9/10

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3. OAKWOOD A
League record: Pl. 18, W. 9, D. 2, L. 7, F. 54, A. 32, Pts.
Players of the season: Brad Wine
Best buys: Guy Helman
Best result: 2-2 vs Hendon BET
Biggest win: 8-1 vs LML Blue
Worst result:
Heaviest defeat:
Games failed to score in: 1
Clean sheets: 4
Top Scorer: Brad Wine 12
WAGS favourite: Dan Ash (sorry DC2!)
DC Rating: One of the most improved teams of the seasons – the Oaks recovered from a slow start and recorded some excellent results, in league and cup. Other than Hendon, NLR and Faithfold, they picked up points against their rivals and were arguably the team Premier Division sides wanted to play least. Incredible fitness levels and energy paid dividends as they really made their mark. Ric Blank worked hard to bring in some big names and, no doubt, his little black book will be dusted open once more over the summer to beef things up. Don’t bet against them picking up some silverware in 2014.15. 8/10

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4. REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A
League record: Pl. 18, W. 8, D. 4, L. 6, F. 24, A. 29, Pts. 28
Players of the season: Adam Stolerman
Best buy: Fabio Revieccio
Best result: 2-2 vs NLR
Biggest win: 3-0 vs Brady
Worst result: 5-1 vs Oakwood
Heaviest defeat:
Games failed to score in: 5
Clean sheets: 5
Top Scorer: Adam Stolerman 12
WAGS favourite: Danny Berg
DC Rating: Sam Rosenthal’s men made an excellent start – seven games without defeat – but their results tailed off over the second half of the season. On paper they had great strength in depth, but double-header defeats against Hendon and Oakwood tells you otherwise. It’s clear Rosenthal needs to bring in five or six top signings this summer for them to be a force and challenge for honours. 6/10

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5. BRADY MACCABI A
League record: Pl. 18, W. 7, D. 2, L. 9, F. 26, A. 31, Pts. 23
Players of the season: Jake Rinsler, Sam Singer, Sam Monjack
Best buys: Michael Kenley, Sam Monjack
Best result: 2-0 vs NLR
Biggest win: 3-2 vs Oakwood
Worst result: 41 vs LML Blue
Heaviest defeat: : 4-1 vs LML Blue
Games failed to score in: 4
Clean sheets: 2
Top Scorer: Michael Kenley 9
WAGS favourite: Michael Kenley
DC Rating: This was a season of transition for last season’s Morrison winners for whom the highlight saw them become the first and only team to beat NLR in the league this season. The emergence of Jake Rinsler and Sam Monjack pleased the fans and manager Joel Nathan and with a few older heads thrown into his young squad over the summer, I expect to see them come good again next season. 5/10

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6. FAITHFOLD A
League record: Pl. 18, W. 6, D. 4, L. 8, F. 31, A. 32, Pts. 22
Players of the season: Roie Spitzer
Best buy: Jake Gottlieb
Best result: -2-2 vs Hendon
Biggest win: 4-0 vs LML
Worst result: 6-1 vs FC Team
Heaviest defeat: : 6-1 vs FC Team
Games failed to score in: 6
Clean sheets: 1
Top Scorer: Mike Pearson 12
WAGS favourite: James Taylor
DC Rating: Having tipped Faithfold not to retain the title in August, I was shocked to see just how far off the pace they finished. Despite an encouraging start, too many of their players were off the pace and in the end a lack of quality and goals held them back. They retained the core of the team who did the business 12 months ago, but a lack of depth came back to haunt them, plus a series of injuries, notably to Alex Kaye, held them back. 4/10

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7. FC TEAM A
League record: Pl. 18, W. 5, D. 4, L. 9, F. 37, A. 46, Pts. 19
Players of the season: Richard Salmon
Best result: 6-1 vs Faithfold
Biggest win: 6-1 vs Faithfold
Worst result: 6-1 vs LML White
Heaviest defeat: : 6-0 vs NLR
Games failed to score in: 2
Clean sheets: 2
Top Scorer: Richard Salmon 14
DC Rating: A season of frustration for Mitch Young’s men who pulled off some decent wins and performances, but ultimately struggled for consistency. They flirted with relegation, but came good when it mattered. Rumour has it it could be all change this summer. Watch this space.4/10

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8. LONDON MACCABI LIONS BLUE
League record: Pl. 18, W. 5, D. 2, L. 11, F. 19, A. 46, Pts. 17
Player of the season: Sam Arghebant
Best buys: Sam Arghebant
Best result: 4-1 vs Brady
Biggest win: 4-1 vs Brady
Worst result: 2-2 vs Camden
Heaviest defeat: : 8-0 vs Hendon
Games failed to score in: 8
Clean sheets: 2
Top Scorer: Oliver Sade
WAGS favourite: Max Kyte
DC Rating: The former Lions second string won club bragging rights and under Jamie Kyte, they were never seriously threatened with relegation. A lack of goals held them back somewhat as they held their own most weeks. 4/10

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9. LONDON MACCABI LIONS WHITE
League record: Pl. 18, W. 4, D. 1, L. 3, F. 24, A. 40, Pts. 13
Player of the season: Ben Winters
Best buy: Ben Winters
Best result: 2-0 vs Redbridge
Biggest win: 6-1 vs FC Team
Worst result: 5-1 vs Oakwood
Heaviest defeat: : 5-1 vs Oakwood
Games failed to score in: 5
Clean sheets: 2
Top Scorer: Ben Winters
DC Rating: A season of woe for the Lions who were forced to throw in the kids in the end, plus the ever-reliable Pete Lazarus. Ben Winters was one of the few plusses of a season to forget on the results front. They saved two of their best performances for the champions – going down 2-1 on both occasions. 3/10

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10. CAMDEN PARK
League record: Pl. 18, W. 2, D. 5, L. 11, F. 24, A. 44, Pts. 11
Player of the season: David Khalastchi
Best result: 5-3 vs FC Team
Biggest win: 5-3 vs FC Team
Worst result: 4-1 vs LML White
Heaviest defeat: : 4-0 vs Oakwood
Games failed to score in: 5
Clean sheets: 1
Top Scorer: Richard Silver 8
DC Rating: At the start of the campaign, Josh Marks said to me: “We feel our current squad has enough quality to compete." But in the end, they finished well short. Camden made a nice, solid start and had they managed to turn one of those draws into a win, things might’ve panned out very differently. They deserved more from the season, just ask Hendon A. But the writing was on the when key players were ruled out and when you look at their results in the run-in. But if they can stay together, there’s no reason why they can’t bounce straight back. 3/10

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DIVISION ONE TEAM OF THE SEASON

Last updated: 6:08pm, July 7 2014