Winston names GB squad for Euro Games
Manager Ben Winston believes that Maccabi GB are one of a handful of teams capable of winning gold at next year's European Maccabi Games in Vienna.
Winston, 29, this week named an 18-man squad including 14 players from South Midlands League side London Lions. The group includes nine members of last year's GB squad who took silver at the Maccabiah.
Winston said: "It will be a tough competition in Vienna but we think this is definitely a squad capable of challenging for medals.
"It is a squad that reflects the great talent that is currently playing Jewish football. At least 10 of the 18 play in the MSFL, or northern equivalent, so I think that reflects very well. I think as a manager you would be naive not to acknowledge the success London Lions have had in the Saturday league this year. To do as well as they have done, there was always going to be the knock-on effect of players who made it in to the squad. But players like Daniel Lee, Daran Bern, Jake Gottlieb and TJ Keterman have impressed over these past few months for their MSFL teams, and that is a credit to them and the league."
Winston and David Pollock, MGB's Open Football chairman, looked at in the region of 130 players over four trials. Winston said: "All the staff made sure we took in as many games as possible over the past few months, so the trial process has been very extensive and thorough.
"We have got the balance of the squad right, both in terms of positions on the field, and with youth and experience."
GB brought home bronze under Darryl Lee in 2007. Winston was the No. 2 in Vienna and at the 2009 Maccabiah.
Now he believes that continuity will put the squad in good stead for future years. "I think a lot of players will benefit from this experience in Vienna and could take that in to Israel in 2013, but the squad hasn't been selected with 2013 in mind. It is a squad that gives a chance to some new faces, players that have dedicated themselves to Jewish football, and deserve the opportunity to represent their country.
"I think there will be six or seven squads capable of winning gold. I think we are one of those. It has been a long time since an open squad won gold, but that has to be the aim."
Adam Stolerman (London Lions & RJC)
Alex Levack (Faithfold)
Aron Barnes (London Lions)
Ben Ellis (London Lions & NW Neasden)
Ben Lauffer (London Lions)
Craig Ellis (London Lions)
Daniel Cole (London Lions & NW Neasden)
Daniel Lee (Wingate & Finchley & RJC)
Dan Stanton (London Lions)
Daran Bern (Redbridge Jewish Care)
David Soutar (London Lions)
Guy Morris (London Lions)
James Gershfield (London Lions & North West Neasden)
Jake Gottlieb (North West Neasden)
Matt Davis (London Lions)
Matt Stock (London Lions & North London Raiders)
Michael Sacks (London Lions & Manchester Maccabi)
Tony Keterman (London Lions & North West Neasden)