London Maccabi Lions B folds

By Danny Caro, January 12, 2011
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London Maccabi Lions B have become the third JC MSFL team to fold this season.

The Premier Division strugglers join South Manx and Montana Boca United B after they admitted defeated in their bid to see the season through.

Lions B won the Division One title in season 2003/04. But they have yo-yo’d between the top two divisions in recent seasons although their problems this season have proved beyond repair.

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Danny Reuben, head of LML's Sunday section, explained the factors behind the decision. They include a lack of commitment from the university boys, the more senior players playing in the Garston Vets League, the club’s Saturday players unwillingness to commit to playing twice at the weekend due to the fact that they are playing at the highest level the club has ever achieved in the South Midlands League and a general lack of interest.

Reuben told JC Sport: "At the beginning of the season we were confident that we had enough players. We desperately wanted to keep the side going and this is not a decision we have taken lightly. In fact we have done everything possible to avoid it."

Added to that, the club has suffered a crippling injury list over the past few months that has accounted for Mike Elvey, Ricky Kennet, Josh Newman, Scott Levy, Greg Levy, David Rose, Dan Green, James Stanley, David Goldberg, Dan Pauwen, Adam Solomons, Sam Arghebant, Max Fieldgrass, Jamie Shaw, James Castle and Andy Binstock.

Reuben also laments the problem of having two teams in the same division. "For the past few seasons it has been a real strain on all the managers with the prohibitive rules that stop the movement of players between our teams. This has been a major issue for us."

David Wolff, the MSFL chairman, said: "It's very regrettable but I’m more disappointed than surprised as I knew it was going to happen. It’s really very sad.”

With the Premier Division now down to eight teams, Wolff confirmed that no decision has been made on the issue of relegation. "It's something that the committee needs to discuss."

Reuben believes that it is not all doom and gloom for the MSFL. "The league has been under pressure as of late, there appear to be a number of snipers levelling criticism at what is a wonderful league. The Jewish community should be proud of the MSFL - whilst the number of teams has inevitably declined in recent years, this is not a problem unique to Jewish football, this is a national trend with less people playing organised 11-a-side football at an amateur level.

"Yes, the MSFL has to evolve and I'm sure the league committee are continuously looking for ways to move forward, but everyone should stop looking at the past and be positive and optimistic about the future.

"We still have 50 teams in the league, which is incredible. Other than Israel, where else in the world can boast about having 50 Jewish teams competing on a Sunday morning?"

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Last updated: 2:49pm, November 15 2011