Lustigman calls for fresh blood

The Maccabi Masters Football League is relaxing its age restrictions in a bid to boost numbers.

The decision was made as Hendon Harriers, who joined the league last season, look set to drop down into Division Two leaving the league a team short in the top division.

With the agreement of all clubs, league chairman Stuart Lustigman now hopes to find a new team made up of players two years below the current limit of 35. He said: "We're trying to enhance Division One as there has only been a drip-feed of players coming down from the MSFL.

"Over the years we've had promises from a number of teams but they have never materialised. Only the new team will be 33-plus. Existing sides in the top division must be over 35.

"You would think there would be a national progression from the MSFL but numbers have plateaued in recent years. We are trying to encourage players who fall into the category to play both MSFL and Masters football."

Lustigman said that the decline in numbers is part of a national trend. "At the moment, the flow in is not matching the flow out.

"At the other end of the spectrum, there are a number of players who believe they are coming to the end of their careers.

"We will keep our options open until the end of the summer."

    Last updated: 3:02pm, June 2 2011