Lions A appoint new management team
The London Maccabi Lions Football Committee have appointed Josh Newman and Malcolm Newman as joint-managers of their Sunday A team for season 2011/2012 after Eilon Kennet's decision to stand down following his distinguished service to the club.
The father-and-son team are Lions stalwarts, with Josh having represented the club at every level, junior through senior, while dad Malcolm, a former chairman of the club, had a distinguished non-league playing career.
Malcolm has also previously managed both the club's first team (in its formative MAL years) and Under 18 side, the latter highly successfully with a number of the current senior squad having graduated through his tenure.
The duo are excited at taking over the reins and the Committee look forward to them delivering a successful and enjoyable campaign next time round.
Malcolm Newman said: "It's a good time and opportunity to help the club out. Obviously this season did not go as well as in the past. The table does not lie.
"It's a reasonable-sized challenge and the priority is to improve and see where it takes us. If we play the right way, we'll be fine."
Asked about his plans for a summer recruitment drive, Newman said: "We will assess what we have. A lot of the Under 18 squad will start university in September so the availability is not always there. Bringing in some fresh faces is a possibility."
At 20, Josh Newman is likely to be the league's youngest manager next season. Malcolm said: "He's quite mature for his age, very focused and a doer."
Josh has represented London Maccabi Lions at every level from youth team up. He's also had spells at Wycombe Wanderers and Wingate & Finchley.
He said: "We're aiming to provide an enjoyable environment for a predominately young group of players to play their football.
"We feel that we can bring a certain amount of professionalism to the table. Training sessions will be important both in pre-season and throughout the year and these will be prepared for the boys to really enjoy it and use it as good preparation for the matches on Sundays.
"I'm personally looking forward to getting a strong side out that plays good football, is willing to improve and take things on board.
"I believe the combination of both myself and Malcolm will work well, with his experience and my enthusiasm hopefully translating to performances on the pitch.
"I see it as a good challenge to take on and am thoroughly looking forward to the whole recruitment process and preseason stages before the season comes around."
Although the appointment surprised some, Josh is relishing the challenge. He said: "Hopefully we can use that to our advantage and offer a different approach to what is normally seen in the MSFL."
For now, the plan is for Josh and Malcolm to take stock of the current squad and see which areas needs strengthening.
Josh added: "We plan to build on the squad that is already at the club but are of course looking to freshen things up with players from outside.
"At this stage we are keen to remain open-minded in terms of the make up of the squad. We hope that the team can be comprised of a nice blend of youth and experience.
"We will do our best to bring in players of good quality allied to a good attitude and commitment.
"Over the coming months it will be a case of assessing the interest of various players that we have in mind and trying to get the enthusiasm going for the start of what promises to be an exciting period for the club as a whole.
"Hopefully potential players will be interested in both the style of football we want to be playing and the facilities the club have to offer."
Asked about his aims for next season, Josh said: "At this early stage, it is important to try and bring in those players that can make our team stronger for next year.
"Clearly it’s far too early to be making predictions and setting goals for next year but of course we will endeavour to produce a good footballing side that plays football in the right way."
The move received the backing of Brady Maccabi manager Josh Rosenfeld.
He told JC Sport: "Having played at Lions under the management of Tony Gold and Malcolm Newman on a Saturday, I believe Lions have taken the right step by appointing Malcolm Newman.
"He's an excellent coach and superb man-manager. I beleive next year Lions will be a force to be recognised again if he has the commintment from his recruits."