The new season: Division 1 preview
There are 10 teams, once again, in Division One this season. The incentive is that three climbed into the Premier Division in May so it could come down to survival of the fittest. Watch out for Chigwell Athletic in their new JC-sponsored kit.
BRIXTON OLD BOYS A
Competitions entered: the two Jewish cups and the Sunday FA Cup.
Hopes for the season: It is not a question of hope but a must – we will be promoted to the premiership and I want to win a cup – nothing more!
What will your team will bring to the league this season? Excitement and football – we will be talked about.
New signings: I have made some new signings but will surprise all at the beginning of the season however the majority of the players are the same as last year.
Have any players left? Not sure if any players have decided to leave yet as we are now running two teams A’s and B’s so we will have to wait and see.
Who is the captain? My captain is Rob Blackman and vice captain is Ed Weiz.
Which teams do you think will be the main challengers in your division? I do not know and quite honestly do not care. All I am interested in is how my team does.
Ones to watch: You will have to wait and see.
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? Again, wait and see.
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? I will look at all newcomers as the competition for places this season is high.
Home ground: Our home pitch is Clowes in Palmers Green
Describe your club in one sentence, what would it be? Winners!
What do you love about the MSFL? I’ve been involved too long to give a description.
Competitions entered: League, Anekstein and Morrison
Hopes for the season: The Division One title. If we manage to keep a fit squad throughout the season I believe we’ll be in the mix for sure. The club has won every other lower league, but the title has slipped away twice now.
What will your team will bring to the league this season? Goals and a fun bus for all to enjoy.
New signings: Lee Hyams, Lloyd Becker, Alex Norman all from Southgate Harmen. Antony Mendel and Jamie Fox from RJC plus Benji Dymant from Faithfold A.
Players out Sam Rosenthal (Glenthorne B), Adam Shafron (Glenthorne A), Dean Ben Yosef (Lions A), Russell Becker (retired)
Who is the captain? Daniel Castle
Main challengers Brixton A, Norstar A, Oakwood
Ones to watch: Glenn Michaels, Craig Pearl, Daniel Castle, Alex Norman, Antony Mendel
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? Adam Goodman - a great find midway through last season, with bags of trickery and pace to burn.
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? Always looking to improve the squad with the right additions, but I’m also very, very happy with the players we’ve managed to bring in.
Home ground: Peter May Sports Centre
Sponsor: Richman Junior, Kit Sponsor: The Jewish Chronicle
Describe your club in one sentence: An organised club always looking to do that bit extra for its players and having a great laugh in the process.
What do you love about the MSFL? The eggs were born.
MONTANA BOCA UNITED
Competitions entered: Peter Morrison Trophy, Cyril Anekstein and Maccabi League
Hopes for the season: Promotion
What will your team will bring to the league this season? Montana’s good work ethic and commitment
New signings: Jordan Segal, Mitch Green (FC Team A), Blake Buckman, Nathan Harrod, Mike Perkin, Jacob Webb, Simon Lindell, Elliot Kennard, Josh Greenham
Players out Simon Peterman
Who is the captain? Adam Osper
Main challengers Neasden B and Oakwood
Ones to watch: Jordan Segal, Mitch Green, Mike Perkin
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? Nathan Harrod, Jordan Segal
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? We’re still looking to strengthen up front, and possibly another centre back. We’re also in negotiations with Sheikh Mychallah regarding sponsorship.
Home ground: The Hive
Describe your club in one sentence: Can beat anyone on our day
What do you love about the MSFL? It’s a very well-organised league with outstanding contributions from the committee and top-class referees
Competitions entered: In addition to the usual Jewish competitions, Norstar A will be entering the London FA Sunday Cup – either in the Junior or Intermediate category depending on where the FA places us ...
Hopes for the season: After three successive promotions, the romantics at the club are hoping for another promotion at the first time of asking. The realists think we should aim for mid-table this year and then mount a title-charge next season. As far as I’m concerned, we have a squad that are talented enough to go up again – particularly as we’ve got a lot of players returning this season and if we keep everyone fit we might be able to challenge for the title as well.
What will your team will bring to the league this season? When you come to play us this season it will be the closest you’ll ever get to playing at Wembley Stadium.
New signings: We’ve made a couple of signings so far and have a couple more to tie-up before the season begins. Josh Pistol comes in, as does Jeff Gotch from Inter Borehamwood.
Players out Nick Hudson’s taken early retirement due to recurring injuries and relocation. Zak McLeod has left to join Zenit St. Whetstone. Both will be sorely missed and we wish them well.
Who is the captain? Jeremy Elster remains club captain for a second season.
Main challengers It’s looking like being a very strong division next year. Oakwood will be very hard to beat as always and Neasden B will be strong. There wasn’t much in it between the top four in Division 2 last season so it will be interesting to see how we all do but I think there are six or seven teams that could be in the mix come the end of the season.
Ones to watch: Last season’s player of the year Ben De La Fuente will be looking to retain his title. He’s signed a new long-term contract and we’ve fended off interest from London Lions and FC Team for him. Josh Green returns from a spell in the B team last season and will be looking to prove a point whilst having the two Jonnies (Kay and Peters) back to full fitness will be crucial to the promotion push. Expect Eli Houri to be competing for the golden boot.
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? That depends on your definition of a youngster – Ben Eliad should be featuring a little more this season than last. He’s probably still 17. New centre-back Josh Pistol recently celebrated his 21st birthday.
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? Always on the lookout for exceptional talent. It’s good to keep people fighting for their places – no one should be too comfortable.
Home ground: Home games will be played at the Ark Academy in Wembley. It’s a sensational new all-weather facility which should keep us playing regularly through the winter. The Wembley Arch provides a great backdrop for a team photo so opposition teams should definitely bring their cameras.
Sponsors: Norstar A will be sponsored by Green & Co this season and we will release more details on the deal in the coming weeks.
Describe your club in one sentence: We’ve never claimed to be the best team in the league but after three-straight promotions it’s clear that something good is happening at Norstar A and we’re attracted by the smell of Premiership football.
What do you love about the MSFL? There’s just nothing else in the world that would get me out of bed before 9am on a Sunday morning.
Competitions entered: Morrison, CA Cup and the league. The holy trinity.
Hopes for the season: To improve. That’s all I really care about – the rest will take care of itself. We want to go up but you can get obsessed with that and it becomes an unhealthy obsession. So we’ll focus on just training, playing our football and improving. What I desperately hope is that, unlike the past few seasons, we are not six games behind everyone else come January. That never helps!
What will your team will bring to the league this season? Northern grit and the ability to get stuck in.
New signings: Yes. James Abrams from Liverpool via Neasden. Exudes class and has the experience we lacked at times last season. He’ll be a big player for us this year. Working on two signings but can’t say who yet I’m afraid.
Players out Not that I’m aware of. Some of them keep trying but I keep picking them so they turn up anyway.
Who is the captain? Do you know Adam Levine?
Main challengers Everyone. That’s what Division One is about. Anyone can beat anyone on their day. We are ready for that. No easy games.
Ones to watch: Dan Ash and Dan Rose are back from year-long knee injuries. If they can stay fit they will fly. I’m excited to see them play again. When Josh Rubin gets back from his knee op we will have an outstanding trio of players to rely on.
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? Apart from the likes of myself and Eddie Manson, no.
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? We are always looking for players that will improve us. If you’re out there get in touch. If you can score goals even better.
Home ground: Parmiters
Sponsors: Bond Traders
Describe your club in one sentence: The best of all the Jews in all the land.
What do you love about the MSFL? The coverage from the JC. And that is not a suck up line. It’s the best thing about playing in this league.
SOUTHGATE HARMEN B
Competitions entered: The League, Peter Morrison Trophy, Cyril Anekstein.
Hopes for the season: After an up and down season last year, which ended with a dramatic winning goal seven minutes from time to keep us up and maintain our Division 1 status, we are looking for some consistency and a strong push for promotion.
What will your team will bring to the league this season? Southgate Harmen will bring a mix of exciting attacking football combined with a committed never say die attitude – Harmen games will be far from dull encounters this year!
New signings: Following the loss of a couple of players this summer, we have made a number of crucial signings to freshen things up throughout the entire squad. The big name signings include Bradley Fox and Ben Rosenblatt, who will add a lot of steal at the back while Nick Kershberg and Doron Hershkorn will add a lot of firepower going forward. This summer started like a bit of a revolving door with players coming and going, however using the 'Arry' Redknapp approach, we have managed to wheel and deal throughout August and now looking at the squad we have assembled I am extremely excited for the coming season. This is my first year in player management so I feel that the shrewd appointment of Brett Levene as my appointment to help run the club could be my biggest master stroke of them all.
Who is the captain? This is something that is still up for debate and we are looking at possibilities during pre-season.
Main challengers There are a number of teams who think that they will challenge this season and I think that the division is going to be a tough one to predict. I feel that it is not the team that gets off to the good start that will necessarily get promotion, but rather the team that copes the best over the winter months in the freezing cold, when players mysteriously become injured and can’t get themselves out of bed on a Sunday. Oakwood were a strong outfit last year and I am sure they will be there or thereabouts having missed out on promotion when we beat them on the final day of last season.
Ones to watch: I would rather not disclose my special ‘ones to watch’ at this point in the season as I don’t want to give away any of our secrets. Josh Sasto has had an excellent pre-season so I am expecting great things from this experienced Harmen defender. I would also say that David Marcus had a tremendous end to last season and with arguably the best left foot in Jewish football, he is likely to cause goalkeepers all sorts of problems.
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? It depends what you would classify as a youngster. We haven’t got any exciting teenagers, however if you can call a 24-year-old a youngster then we have a number ‘outstanding youngsters’!
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? I have always got my eye out for talented players. We have a good group of boys and if we could add another centre back and possibly one more midfielder then I would have my complete squad.
Home ground: Ashmole School – for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of playing there, it’s a beautiful carpet of a pitch that is a joy to play on every week.
Sponsors: We have exciting new sponsors ‘Genesis Advisory Services’ – they are a fantastic company and we look forward to a successful relationship together.
Describe your club in one sentence: A friendly club who show unbelievable desire to win the moment they step on the pitch on a Sunday morning.
What do you love about the MSFL? I always enjoy the quiet, lack of moaning on a Sunday morning and the upmost respect that all of the nice Jewish boys show to the referees…. No it’s an exciting league to play in and the coverage that the JC gives all of the teams in the leagues is fantastic!
TEMPLE FORTUNE A
Competitions entered: Temple Fortune’s First Team will be taking part in the MSFL First Division, the CA Cup and Peter Morrison Trophy this coming season.
Hopes for the season: We are under no illusions that the First Division will be extremely tough. When Temple Fortune last won the Division 2 championship in 1986, we held our own in the division above the next season and were then promoted to the Premier Division a year after that. So following on in that mould, stability and survival in Division 1 will be the main objective, a promotion push being very much a bonus.
What will your team will bring to the league this season? Our ‘A’ team is a very competitive unit, hard to beat and never give up. But then most of the opposition in Division 1 could say the same so we know that we are set for a very hard campaign!
New signings: A few players have joined us, notably three from L’Equipe but we do not wish to disclose names particularly. We are trying out several others during our pre-season friendlies so watch this space!
Have any players left? Players come, players go – again it’s immaterial who has left. We are more focused on who we have in the squad.
Who is the captain? Paul Walker is the new First Team captain, a role he has done before. Paul is a leader and winner so there were no qualms in giving him the armband again. The vice captain is Daniel Natoff.
Which teams do you think will be the main challengers in your division? It’s probably quicker to name those that WON’T be main challengers and looking at the many decent teams filling the First Division, we are struggling to find one! As we say, this is one tough collection of teams and it’s going to be difficult to single out who will be challenging.
Ones to watch: We think it’s unfair to single out anyone in particular because the emphasis upon this unit of players is to compete very much as a team. And do we really want to point out the ‘ones to watch’ to the opposition? Let them find out for themselves when we play them!
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? None that we wish to highlight for the same reason!
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? The Club is always looking to progress and bring in talented players. That’s all that we can say in answer to this question!
Home ground: We’ve said farewell to Hatch End Playing Fields after five years and have been allocated pitches at The Hive and Gosling Sports Park in Welwyn Garden City.
Sponsors: Daniel Stewart & Company sponsored our first choice playing kit in the traditional TFFC colours of yellow shirts and red shorts. Our clash shirts (red) are sponsored by Ellis & Co.
Describe your club in one sentence, what would it be? TFFC, a well run and friendly club with a long history – 42 years old and still going strong!
What do you love about the MSFL? This Club has an affinity for Maccabi football and we are proud to be taking part for the 36th consecutive campaign, longer than any current team. We’ve had many ups and downs with the League over the years but at the moment, things couldn’t be better so we are very pro-MSFL.
Competitions entered: We lan to enter all of them – MSFL Division Two, Morrison and Anekstein.
Hopes for the season: Promotion. Our squad is at full-strength - as good as it has been for a couple of years. We lost Andy Levy but we’ll have a more than capable replacement who will sign next week.
New signings: Officially no-one, although three players expected, very good players who not many would be familiar with in the MSFL.
Players out Andy Levy left for Glenthorne or Redbridge. There is also speculation that Emmanuel Simburg might leave. We understand he trained with Glenthorne last Sunday.
Who is the captain? Harrison Midda, with Darren Ezekiel vice.
Main challengers Probably the teams coming up - Temple Fortune, Brixton and Norstar maybe.
Ones to watch: Striker Jerome Marks and central midfielder Harrison Midda.
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? A youngster, formerly of Charlton Athletic, will be signing, plus a leading striker, we hope. We're undecided whether to sign him now or in a couple of months.
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? Looking for a centre back.
Home ground: Redbridge Sports Centre
Sponsors: Emerson Haig
Describe your club in one sentence: Bringing the crazy gang to Jewish football.
What do you love about the MSFL? David Woolf, no doubt about that!
Awaiting details from: North West Neasden B, Redbridge Jewish Care B
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