Lions A looking for new manager
London Maccabi Lions A have begun the search for a new manager after it was confirmed that Eilon Kennet will not be continuing his role next season.
In the second year of his second spell with the team, Kennet, who led the Rowley Lane team to the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup last season, battled with injuries, including his son Ricky, and poor availability which saw the team finish the season empty-handed after tumbling out of both cup competitions and finishing mid-table in a weakened Premier Division containing just eight teams.
Kennet was applauded off the pitch having steered Lions to victory in their final game - a 3-2 win over North West Neasden B on Sunday - and there were emotional scenes after the final whistle.
Explaining the reasons behind his decision, Kennet told JC Sport: "After the disappointment of losing our PMT match against Manchester - which meant that for the first time in the seven years I've managed Lions A team - we would finish the season empty handed, I decided that maybe it's time for a re-think.
"This season was fraught with problems, most of which have been recounted by Danny Reuben, and if the team is to undergo a re-build, this is a natural point for me to stand down and let a fresh voice with new ideas be heard in the changing room.
It's been a great adventure, but it's probably reached a natural end.
"For years we have been the team that everyone wanted to beat, and for the first time this actually started to happen.
"Definitely a strong indication that it's time for change.
"This was a special team. A kind of extended family for me.
"Making the decision to stand down was unbelievably difficult, but I'm sure its the right thing to do.
"Sunday's game, was really emotional for me and thanks to the players who found that extra effort to send me off with a victory.
"The whole thing is a paradox. It would have been great to have finished with a successful season, but if that was the case I wouldn't be standing down."
Danny Reuben, the head of Lions' Sunday section, told JC Sport: "We at Lions are extremely thankful for everything Eilon has done for the club to date and that his shoes will be hard to fill following his decision to retire as our A team manager.
"His commitment to the A team and the club has been immense and under his stewardship the A team won every honour in Jewish football and were one of the most succesful teams in MSFL history.
"The committee and indeed the players, as was displayed emotionally in the final game of the season, will miss him as a manager, but look forward to having him around the club for many years to come.
"This season has been hard for everyone involved in the Sunday section of the club. It's time for someone younger who can bring in some fresh faces and younger blood.
"It could have been very different for the A-team this season with a couple more committed players capable of leading on the pitch.
"We're looking forward to the future and must make sure we get it right. Eilon's input will be invaluable."
Reuben confirmed that he "has already already approached someone with a view to taking over next season".
He said: "We're not in a rush to make an appointment but there will be an announcement soon. We have approached someone with a view to working as a partnership with someone charged with the administration side of running the team."
Kennet added: "I'm Not sure that Reubs is right about me hanging up my boots though.
"You never know, by the time pre-season comes along, I might be itching to do something more than just reading the Sunday papers."
Odds on the next Lions boss
3-1 - Jamie Kyte and James Gold
3-1 - Will Beresford
7-2 - Mitch Young
7-2 - Ben Winston
4-1 – Jonathan Kestenbaum
4-1 - Ben Winston & Jonathan Kestenbaum
9-2 - Ben Winston & Ben Nathan
5-1 - Tony Gold
5-1 – Darren Yarlett
5-1 – Ricky Kennet & Motti Colman
11-2 – Danny Jacobs & Jon Green
6-1 - Danny Berg
6-1 – Sam McCarthy & Danny Berg
13-2 - Adam Fegan & Danny Caro
13-2 – Max Fieldgrass & Daniel Hodes
7-1 – Rob Richman
8-1 - Andy Myers
8-1 - Danny Reuben
9-1 - Jonny Cohen
10-1 - Aviel Schwarz
10-1 - David Garbacz
10-1 - Dan Uzan
10-1 - Dan Levy
12-1 - Zuriel Solomon
12-1 - Josh Rosenfeld
12-1 - Phil Peters
20-1 - Joel Minsky
20-1 - Richard Slater
20-1 - Ric Blank & Alex Schock
20-1 – Andrew Souber
20-1 – Richard Bronzite
25-1 - Raymond Harrod & Adam Osper
25-1 - Justin Rockberger
25-1 - Mark Engel
25-1 – John Nitka
25-1 – Rob Shooman
25-1 – David Garson
25-1 – Mel Beresford
25-1 – Mickey Collins & Steve Reiterbund
25-1 – Michael Spector
25-1 - Gazza
33-1 – Gabriel John
50-1 – DJ Neal Cohen
50-1 - Dave Snelman
100-1 - Jamie Cole
100-1 - Ryan Glynne
250-1 - David Pleat
500-1 - Ronnie Rosenthal
1000-1 - Avram Grant
1000-1 - Harry Redknapp