Maccabi Junior Football League end of season report
MJFL league chairman Laurence Thorne looks back on the season.
Having just returned from a vibrant, fun and successful league awards presentation it proves that junior small sided Jewish football in London is going from strength to strength and there are few parts of the 11 a side set up to tweak and hopefully we may see the return of teams who have flown the nest to play in non Jewish leagues and my committee are trying very hard to build upon the older age groups year on year.
We had 38 small sided teams, at under 8, under 9, under 10 and under 11 and happily completed our second season, playing on top quality 3G surfaces, accommodating over 400 boys and girls every Sunday, with a further seven teams at our under 14 age group, playing 11 a side football on their local park pitches, taking our total weekly footfall of Jewish junior players close to the 500 mark.
Looking to the coming season 2011/2012, we are planning on hosting the usual age groups and increasing the bracket to Under 12 as well, at 11 a side, at one venue on 3G, something we all hope will be accepted by the current under 11 crop of teams.
Our awards night was attended by 250 players and families and an exciting evening was had by all, celebrating the past season and looking forward to the next. As you can see from the list of winners and runners-up below, some teams had a great season whilst others had an exceptional season.
I want to take this opportunity of thanking, without reservation, all my management committee who have performed a sterling job in the building of Jewish football and the fact that most have siblings playing in our league and I am looking forward to working with them all again next season.
Every season the FA introduces new ideas and as an affiliate league to the LFA we follow their recommendations. One of their new laws is to allow girls to play up to and including under 13 football and as there have always been girls playing in our teams up to under 11, this will open the scope for them to be able to continue to play for another two years. We even had girls playing in our under 8 teams and they have many years ahead to show off their skills and ability.
We were delighted to have been able to hold representative matches against another league for all our age groups, organised and managed by our age group representatives, including an under 7 game. You may be aware that and football under 8 and below is classed as non-competitive, so results and tables cannot be published, but all our other age group rep teams did the league proud (including the U7 and U8s) and all players were presented with a certificate of appreciation at our awards presentation.
At the end of June we hold our annual outdoor 'open entry' five-a-sides day, for all age groups under 7 to under 15 and the event is totally sold out with a staggering entry of 82 junior teams together with 12 men's "Masters" teams taking the space of the under 16/17 age group, which didn't sell. That makes an amazing 94 teams taking part and those who still say that Jewish football is a dying breed had better think again. At the 5-a-sides we will be welcoming visiting teams from Israel as well as our Northern affiliates, Manchester Maccabi. Rain or shine, it will be a great day.
I end this report by highlighting the FA, in fact FIFA, want to bring about more small sided football into play, on smaller pitches and on better surfaces with quality facilities for parents during play and for the players before and after the game. We, the Maccabi Junior Football League, are already one step ahead of them by offering exactly that and we as a committee will be working hard to remain ahead of other leagues to provide it for the future.
Moving on to next season, if there are any individual players who would like to play for a club in a Jewish league, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass across all details to teams who are looking for new players to join their squads. School and synagogue teams are encouraged to make contact quickly.
MJFL Season 2011/12 Roll of Honour
U8 non competitive League
U9 Spring Plate runners up HMH Negev
U9 Spring Plate Winners Alyth Belsize
U9 Spring Trophy runners up Hendon Hawks
U9 Spring Trophy winners HISHU
U9 Challenge Cup runners up HMH Eilat
U9 Challenge Cup winners HISHU
U9 league runners up HMH Eilat
U9 League winners HISHU
U10 Challenge Cup runners up Brady Maccabi Blue
U10 Challenge Cup winners HISHU Blue
U10 League runners up HISHU White
U10 League winners HISHU Blue
U11 Challenge Cup runners up, Alyth Belsize
U11 Challenge Cup winners Hendon Hawks Rovers
U11 9 a side League runners up HMH Negev
U11 9 a side League Winners Hendon Hawks Rovers
U11 7 a side league runners up HMH Eilat
U11 7 a side League winners Hendon Hawks Rovers
U14 Challenge cup runners up HISHU White
U14 Challenge cup winners AC Whetstone
U14 League runners up HISHU White
U14 League winners AC Whetstone
U14 Indoor 5 a side tournament runners up HISHU White B.
U14 Indoor 5 a side winners AC Whetstone
Referee of the Year: Sean Brooks
Special MJFL 'Busy Bee' award: Elliott Thorne
Sportsmanship Team of the Year award: Alyth Belsize U9s