The great EMG debate
Following the announcement of Maccabi GB's 18-man squad for next summer's European Maccabi Games in Vienna, we spoke to managers north and south to get their thoughts on the delegation and selection process.
"It is difficult to get over-excited about a squad that is so top heavy with players from one team . I feel sorry for those players who do not play their football on a Saturday but who would have been extremely honoured and definitely capable enough to represent their country at these games. It saddens me that the likes of Ben Kon and Dovid Korman from Hendon plus others who have been outstanding this year so far will, in all probability never get the chance at this level. Nevertheless I wish Ben and his squad the best of luck for the summer." David Garbacz (Hendon United A)
"The squad looks very strong again and I believe it has the capabilities to go on and achieve success next year. I’m sure that the usual critics will come out of the woodwork but I really hope that everyone gets behind the team. I certainly will.
"I am delighted to see that there are so many Neasden players involved which is a testament to all the hard work that they have put in over the last few years. The only surprise was that Andy Glynne wasn’t selected as he has been superb for Neasden and the London Lions Saturday side. Personally, I am over the moon that my brother, Daniel has been selected once again as I, along with most other people, believe that he is one of the best Jewish players around.
"Good luck lads, you deserve it." Jamie Cole (North West Neasden A)
"I think it is a very strong squad and wish Ben and the boys all the very best." Mitch Young (FC Team)
"I don't know too many of them but delighted that Dan Lee's made the squad - he's pretty special (despite conceding three against Maccabi Costa del Sol at the EMFT) and should definitely be pushing for the No. 1 shirt.
"I'm disappointed there's no one representing MSFL Division Two - can only assume Mitch Hahn couldn't make the party - but of course wish them the best of luck in Vienna." Phil Peters (Norstar)
"I wish they would come along to see our boys rather than sticking to who they know. I have got some other players who would be pushing for a place. If the best players are from down south, playing two or three times a week, then that is not a problem. Even if 14 are from one team, if they are the better players that is fine. But no-one has seen the Manchester Maccabi 1st team." Stuart Delmonte (Manchester Maccabi 1st)
"I'd like the management to get a chance to see our players in action. There are some very good players in Manchester and South Manchester. I don’t see why some of our top players can’t compete. I don’t believe we're given enough of a chance. "I certainly didn't see or know anything about it. I think we got an email but it's not as though any of the players are going to get anywhere near it." Zevi Saunders (Crumpsall)
"It's pathetic as some of the boys are good enough but didn't get the opportunity. All the boys from outside of London were invited to attend a trial in London at 6.30pm midweek. It's impossible. If the boot was on the other foot, how many would've travelled up to Manchester on a cold, dark evening?" Fraser Saville (Haroldeans)
"It is southern based, and north of Watford, I do not think they think we play football. I am sure that there are some footballers from the north who could do a job in the Euros but it’s southern-based and I get used to it. They choose the team and they usually do quite well. The Lions are the best team but I am sure there are individuals who are better. Maccabi aren’t really bothered about the northern teams anyway." Ivan Gee (Haroldeans)
"It is a Maccabi thing and I do not think they look at teams outside of Lions and London. I am not saying my players pare good enough or might be good enough, we know the Manchester Leagues are not top notch, but there are some good players who deserve a trial. Players are overlooked who are good enough because they do not play for Lions. It needs to be looked at. If they are picking a whole side it should be fair. Maybe they should ask who the managers recommend. Maybe they will have a bad game but at least look at them. For a Jewish lad who will never make it professionally it is a great honour. Gavin Sharpe (Sporting JLGB)
"Certainly, from what I understand, the standard from the MJSL has fallen and that is probably the reason.”
Daniel Berkley (Oakhill Lions)
"There is no-one in the MJSL who is good enough to go. To be honest with you, probably the only players good enough, I would have thought, were one or two of the boys from Manchester Maccabi or South Manchester. Really it is up to the managers to push your players forward if you want them to go through." Steve Davis (Westdene)
"It goes without saying that the standard down south is a lot better. Maybe there is the odd player in our league who should be in with a shot of the team. Having one in the squad is a good achievement and I would not agree that it is not a fair reflection of northern Jewish football." Anthony Bloch (Republic of Mancunia)
"The European Games were always the Games for boys who weren't good enough to go to the Maccabiah. So you have to ask yourself, sports-wise is it worth being part of Maccabi?"
"I don't care what anyone says, it’s a London Lions summer holiday." Jonny Davis (chairman South Manchester Sports Club)