MSFL Preview: Division Two
Norstar A and Montana B will lock horns once more
Old rivalries will be reignited with newly promoted Woodford Wanderers, Norstar A and Montana Boca United B eyeing a top two finish.
But it is Temple Fortune A who have made the most high profile moves in the transfer market.
Managed by Andrew Souber, Fortune lured Scott Shindler from double winners North West Neasden A, along with attacking midfielder Michael Goldberg from Camden Park. They could be the team to beat.
"We have a stronger squad than last season and we hope to be challenging for promotion," says Fortune chairman Nigel Kyte. "Last season we were up there but faltered towards the end."
Matt Gilbery also joins with Adam Arnold, Phil Braham, Stephen Wasserman leaving the club. Souber hopes that striking sensation Ben Isaacs can enjoy an injury-free campaign to play alongside Rob Benson, last season's Division Two Player of the Year.
Woodford Wanderers include several players with Premier Division experience. They have also entered the London FA Sunday Junior Cup. David Green is their only signing while Darren Ezekiel has been appointed captain.
A club spokesman said: "Like last year, Norstar and us start as favourites with Jamie Golding and Jerome Marks the ones to watch."
Promotion is the name of the game for Norstar A but it is the title that manager Phil Peters wants most, having been pipped to the post for the past two years.
Having steered Team GB to victory at the European Maccabi Football Trophy in Spain, Peters has brought in David Shamash and Adam Kaldor from Heath Banta along with Adam Goldsmith of FC Team. Other new faces include Anthony Goodmaker and Simon Perlmutter.
Inspirational captain Rob Pearl has left on aliyah while Ben Eliad, Pearl's top player last year, is off to Birmingham University. Other absentees include Dan Gilbert and Josh Green while Joel Stodel has taken a short-term sabbatical. Jeremy Elster replaces Pearl as skipper with Eli Houri appointed vice-captain.
Peters said: "Woodford will be our strongest competition although I expect Hendon C to be tough to break down.
Perlmutter has been in excellent form during pre-season, scoring a hat-trick against SPEC. Peters said: "He has one of the best left feet in the business. I'm also looking forward to getting a full season out of Zak McLeod and Jonathan Peters who have now returned from Birmingham. Our new signings have a lot to offer whilst having Eli and Sammy Kalms back up front will do us the world of good.
Having stood down at the end of last season, Nick Goodmaker had a change of heart. Now he is fully focused on steering Montana Boca United B to back-to-back promotions.
Goodmaker said: "We started strongly last season and were top right until March when we came unstuck due to a lack of strength in depth. Luckily, we still went up and I'd hope to be pushing at the top end of the table."
The addition of Ryan Springer, Benji Lever, Marc Posner, Bradley Cohen, Andy Bord, Matt Elash can only help their cause. Montana could be something of a dark horse in the title stakes. Goodmaker said: "I make Norstar and Woodford favourites again and I'm relishing coming up against them again."
Brixton Old Boys have had a complete summer overhaul with Rob Blackman from Camden, Danny Sherman, Sam Franks, Jakes Doffman, Dan Price and Matthew Cohen on board.
The division is completed by Faithfold B, FC Marylebone, FC Team B, Hendon United Sports Club C and L'Equipe.