Lustigman: "In it to win it"
Adam Lustigman, player-manager of WHAFC, is quietly confident that his 15-man squad can turn heads at the Jom Ha Voetbal competition in Amsterdam on Sunday.
The 19-team event sees WHAFC, which stands for We Hate Arsenal Football Club, line-up in a four-team group alongside Joods Zorg Circ, Circumcisers and Troostwijk.
Lustigman said: "The draw has been very kind to us, we think, and we're taking our strongest squad for some time. We've got some players who are still active in the MSFL so we're slightly more confident than usual. It's not exactly an injection of youth but the average age is closer to 40. Our aim is to finish in the top 15."
WHAFC are regulars at the annual European tournament and, coincidentally, enjoyed its best performance - a top four finish - when Lustigman was not at the helm.
The squad will be boosted by the presence of Andy Okin and Lloyd Becker, together with the returning Simon Hecker, Tony Plaskow, Lee Dicker, Rob Pearl and Zuriel Solomon. Okin will take over in goal, allowing David Garson to move outfield.
"The new faces will add strength and a bit of quality," said Lustigman who is looking forward to unleashing a powerful strikeforce on some of Europe's finest. "In Ben Simons, Darren Saffer and Becker, we're taking our strongest forward line for a while which will compensate for a really weak defence.
"If we can get the ball that far forward it's potentially a very good front line."
Lustigman has also been busy preparing the Team GB futsal masters squad ahead of the European Maccabi Games in Vienna and with no time for warm-up games for the trip to Holland, he is quietly confident that his squad will rise to the challenge.
"Amsterdam has certainly taken a back-seat in terms of warm-up but once we're on the plane I will have full focus."
South Manchester Sports Club have been drawn in what Lustigman describes as "the group of death". Former winners Maccabi Tennis, JSG Maimonides, Ron Arad and Maccabi Paris West complete Group A.
Squad: Adam Lustigman (manager), James Bloom (Faithfold Masters), Andy Okin (Southgate Harmen), Zuriel Solomon, Jeremy Ansher, David Garson, Ben Simons (Faithfold), Darren Saffer, Lee Dicker, Rob Pearl, Jamie Lustigman (Camden Park), Simon Hecker (Montana), Tony Plaskow, Lloyd Becker (Chigwell), Jason Friend