Winston shuffles his pack

May 12, 2011

Ben Winston has been forced to make two changes to his Maccabi GB Open football squad competing at the European Maccabi Games in Vienna.

Faithfold midfielder Paul Babai replaces teammate Alex Levack while Jake Gottlieb makes way for Neasden colleague George Fierstone.

An important part of the build-up to the event is fund-raising for all GB athletes. This year, the football squad have set up a silent auction. Prizes include watching a Spurs training session, tickets for a Take That and JLS concert and signed memorabilia from David Beckham, Cesc Fabregas, Andy Murray and Jenson Button. There is even a visit from James Corden up for grabs with the TV star offering one of his famous teamtalks at someone's office or dressing room.

Speaking about the Games, Corden said: "I have heard a lot about the event and it sounds like a fantastic tournament. From what I hear, we have a good chance of doing well this year and I really hope we do. I am more than happy to support the team in any way I can.

"Ben and I created the Smithy teamtalks together so I felt like that was a great prize to auction off. I think a sports team or an office party could get a real shock as Smithy walks in and tells them off, or gives them some stirring words. I have never done that before so will be a first for me.

"Meanwhile Ben's company will film it so whoever bids can keep it for good. If that helps towards England winning gold then I am delighted.

JLS member Marvin Humes said: "We are more than happy to support Maccabi and the European Games. I saw pictures of England coming close to winning gold at the last tournament. To go out on penalties was a shame. Hopefully this year, with everyone's support and backing, they can go one better.

"This auction is amazing, and we are happy to do our bit. Hopefully there are some JLS fans out there who will bid and then will come to meet us at one of our shows."

The GB squad will start training for the Games in the next couple of weeks. With the auction in place, the manager is looking forward to concentrating on the football.

Winston said: "We are so excited by the support we have received from this auction. To get these things donated from Take That, David Beckham, Fabregas, Button, Murray, even Spurs - is really wonderful. Now we just need to get the bids in.

"I hope the team can repay the faith and support being shown in the summer."

You can join the auction at:

For details, go to

Last updated: 11:28am, May 13 2011