The new season: Premier Division preview
There are three new teams in the top-flight this season with Brady Maccabi making a welcome return, along with newcomers North London Raiders B, last season's Division One champions, and FC Team A. Can they overcome the big boys? Only time will tell ...
BRADY MACCABI A
Competitions entered: Morrison, Anekstein and, of course, our chance to shine in the premiership
Hopes for the season: We hope to become a very difficult side to beat, to play good football and potentially become a dark horse. I hope to go far in at least 1 of the cup competitions
What will your team will bring to the league this season? A breath of fresh air with a very young side playing attractive football
New signings: A host of signings. Jon Ellis, Nicky Smith, Alex Hershman, Jon Green, Jordan Grant, Adam Littas
Players out: A few have unfortunately. We wish Craig Cohen the best at SPEC, Ben Levy the best on the golf course and we may or may not see too much of Jason Sears this year who was the best servant for any club in Jewish football
Who is the captain? Jonny Ellis, only 1 Jonny Ellis
Main challengers Every game will be tough. We just need to make sure were up for the challenge and show what we can do.
Ones to watch: Josh Hershman and Steve Field. Both impressed in the first division last year and very confident they will do the same in this league
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? Steve Field, Josh Hershman and Jordan Grant will be great additions to the squad
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? No – my squad is done. I have my 19 boys for the year
Home ground: Rowley Lane and Little Bushey Lane
Sponsors: Sunrise Brokers have been very kind to sponsor us. I think we need to win the league or I may lose my job!
Describe your club in one sentence: A breath of fresh air
What do you love about the MSFL? The fact we all get up every Sunday morning, train hard, compete at a level where we don’t get paid. Pure dedication from everyone.
Competitions entered: Cyril Anekstein Cup, Peter Morrison Trophy and London Sunday Intermediate Cup
Hopes for the season: To do better than last season
What will your team will bring to the league this season? Difficult to beat and good football
New signings: Paul Sameroff and Shuey Mirwis and we have University boys back
Players out: Paul Babai and Jonny Haik
Who is the captain? Alex Levack
Main challengers The ususal suspects
Ones to watch: Dan Harod, Rocky Spitzer and Dan Perkins
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? Dan Harod, Rocky Spitzer and Dan Perkins
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? If any good players come along we will always welcome
Home ground: The Hive
Sponsors: The Ackerman Group
Describe your club in one sentence: One big Family
What do you love about the MSFL? Everything
FC TEAM A
Competitions entered: MSFL Premier League, Cyril Anekstein, Peter Morrison, London FA Intermediate Cup
Hopes for the season: We hope to give a good account of ourselves, we have worked so hard to get here five successive promotions in five seasons we will fight in every game to stay here and that has to be the aim this season, to consolidate ourselves as a Premier League team. We are of course hopeful for a good cup run but we are well aware of the strength and quality of the other Premier League clubs so it won’t be easy. My main hope though is that all my players will step up and prove themselves and show how good they are in every game, they have worked for this chance so now they have to show it. This is the platform we dreamed about playing in five years ago now it is down to them to perform on the big stage.
What will your team will bring to the league this season? I think we will bring passion and organisation. We take our football very seriously and I think we have the capabilities within us to surprise a few people. Some of the teams we have never played in a competitive game and they would not have seen some of our guys and my players are very talented so we have that surprise factor working in our favor. I think we can also bring some real pace and excitement in the final third with the likes of Salmon, Davidi, Moss, Edwards and Cohen.
New signings: We are not running a Saturday team this year so we welcome Gideon Moss, James Korn and Richard Salmon as full-time members. We also have signed playmaker Simon Peterman, Northern Team of the Year player Daniel Cohen and the ever reliable David Ossack to the squad. Jon Toby, the ex-Camden and Redbridge defender, has also signed. There may be one more before the window closes.
Players out: Dan Silverman has moved to the USA and we wish him the best of luck in his new career.
Who is the captain? To be confirmed
Main challengers I think Redbridge, Hendon and Neasden will be the main title contenders. Although Redbridge have lost Berny and Hakimi I think there squad is good enough to mount a serious defence of the title especially now with Eilon there, although I can’t wait to play them and spar with Bergy on the touchline. Hendon are always there or there abouts and have seen it and done it. Neasden have made some great signings and will definitely mount a push. I think Yarlett will prove a pulling factor and attract more big names so they will be very strong and then you of course Faithfold. I think Brady could be the surprise package as they have seriously strengthened especially with Ellis and Smith but it’s hard to look past the top three or four teams.
Ones to watch: James Korn is one of the best young centre backs in Jewish football. Richard Salmon has been waiting to prove himself as one of the best strikers in the league so now he has the chance.
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? This could be the season for young Danny Moss to really make a name for himself. He has improved each season and I can see him having an excellent season. Daniel Cohen recently signed from Oakhill was the Cup winning Captain made the Northern team of the year definitely one to watch.
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? No
Home ground: Aycliffe Road, Borehamwood
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Describe your club in one sentence: Ambitious, successful, amateur football club focused around team spirit and organisation with a real burning desire to succeed.
What do you love about the MSFL? Love being involved in a thriving league representing the Jewish community and seeing how each year more and more young Jewish talent emerges and how each year each club gets more organised. I love the fact we are giving the Jewish community a real chance to achieve something outside of their working life’s and not only that they can met some great friends along the way. And the coverage the JC provides!
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A
Competitions entered: This year we have entered the County Cup as well as the usual Jewish domestic competitions . Usually we leave the County Cup alone but we quite fancied the additional challenge this year and we believe our squad is big enough to cope .
Hopes for the season: Every season we enter with high hopes. We have accumulated four runners-up medals in the last two years and clearly our hope for this year is that we no longer wish to be the bridesmaids . A successful season would be to win at least one trophy. Anything else and we will be disappointed.
What will your team will bring to the league this season? As ever, our team will bring good attacking football played in the right spirit and we will be a credit to the league . We have not had a sending off in three seasons which tells its’ own story.
New signings: We have made three big signings which signify our intent in a big way . We have signed Ben Lauffer who is widely accepted as being one of the top Jewish footballers in the country, and also Danny Kon, who in my opinion, can become one. The final piece in the jigsaw is defender Motti Colman from London Lions. We have been after Motti for a while now and are delighted to have finally secured his signature. He has been a Lions stalwart for many years but felt the time was right for a bit of a change. As far as we are concerned he is our third big signing of the summer in our quest to build a very strong squad this year.
Players out: Saul Conway has left as has Michael Slavinsky plus Paul Bentley is abroad in USA until November and Yishai Last is only with us until January.
Who is the captain? Josh Bentley
Main challengers I have a feeling for one of the new boys. North London Raiders B are a team full of talented and very confident youngsters . Neasden and Lions cannot possibly be as bad this year as last and Redbridge, without Darren Bern, will find it very tough to reach last year’s heights. It is a tough division. I think our main challengers will be the two Raiders teams and Faithfold.
Ones to watch: Some of my boys have been around for ages so are not exactly ones to watch. Saying that, from the old guard expect massive seasons from Josh Lipman - without doubt the best defender in the league - and Greg Corin who continues to dazzle week in week out . From the new boys, it goes without saying that Ben Lauffer will be an immense influence and I am expecting really big things from youngsters Danny Kon and Yoav Kestenbaum who are both really exciting players with a brilliant touch.
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? I am expecting really big things from youngsters Danny Kon and Yoav Kestenbaum who are both really exciting players with a brilliant touch.
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? If we make our final signing, we will have strengthened in defence midfield and attack so we will not be adding anymore after that.
Home ground: We will continue to play our home games at Hadley FC who have assured us the pitch will be in better condition this year.
Describe your club in one sentence: We are one large family group who take their football very seriously and who play the game in exactly the right spirit.
What do you love about the MSFL? For reasons not quite known to man, it is the anticipation of the game on a Sunday which lasts the entire week , the joy and elation of victory combined with the continuous stewards enquiries of defeat.
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A
Competitions entered: MSFL, Peter Morrison Trophy, Cyril Anekstein Cup. We’re in it to win it.
Hopes for the season: to be better than everyone else. The chairman demands it!
What will your team will bring to the league this season? Total football
New signings: Carl Peters (Neasden), Ben Ellis (Neasden)
Players out None
Who is the captain? David Rhodes
Main challengers Neasden will be the real deal again whilst Hendon have also made some astute signings.
One to watch: Jamie Wolfson
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? No-one that we’d class as ‘young’ 21 but some very good players the wrong side of 20.
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? We're very happy with what we've got but if the right player came along …
Home ground: Brunel Uni
Sponsors: Gee Lawson
Describe your club in one sentence: Well-run with a bunch of great boys - some with bags of potential and some with a winning mentality.
What do you love about the MSFL? It's the flagship vessel for Anglo-Jewry. Knock it at your peril!
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B
Competitions entered: The Peter Morrison trophy, the Cyril Anekstein Cup and obviously the league.
Hopes for the season: This is our first year in the top division of Jewish football following two years of back-to-back league championship wins. We understand the Premier League will be a step up in class but we believe we have the ability to compete and we are very much looking forward to the challenge. We haven’t set ourselves any targets but we aim to carry on the good work of the past couple of seasons and be an asset to the Premier League.
What will your team will bring to the league this season? We are a close-knit group who go out to win every game but always try and play the game with a smile on our faces.
New signings: Gilad Kestenbaum has returned following nine months travelling while Alex Bloch has now finished university and we look forward to his more regular availability this season. We are also close to finalising a couple of other signings.
Players out: We haven’t lost any players from the squad who won the first division last year.
Who is the captain? As ever, Rik Sherman will lead the team this season.
Main challengers I’m sure all the big names will be up there, Neasden, Hendon, Redbridge and Lions all look strong.
Ones to watch: We have a number of players who I would describe as ‘ones to watch’. I expect big things from Gilad Kestenbaum, Shim Bensoor and David Dinkin. Gilad missed the majority of last season but has already shown glimpses of his talent in pre-season. Shim joined mid-way through last year and he has real potential to be a matchwinner. David has played at this level before but he has never been fitter and will be confident after a brilliant season last year.
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? The squad is made up of a number of outstanding youngsters. The average age of our squad is around 23 and that is one of our greatest strengths.
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? I have full faith in the boys who won the first division last year so I haven’t gone out of the way looking to strengthen. That being said, if anyone with undoubted ability came along we would of course look at them.
Home ground: Our home games will once again be played at Brunel University.
Sponsors: Gee Lawson have agreed to become our sponsor for the next two seasons and we are delighted to have them on board.
Describe your club in one sentence: A friendly, well run club where winning is important but playing in the right manner is key.
What do you love about the MSFL? The one thing that stands out for me is the passion of the MSFL. It doesn’t matter if you play in the Prem or the fourth division - the appetite and enthusiasm is the same and that in my opinion is the greatest strength of the league.
NORTH WEST NEASDEN A
Which competitions have you entered? We have entered the CA Cup and Peter Morrison this year, we chose against entering the Non Jewish cups as we wanted to concentrate on our domestic competitions.
Hopes for the season: I think after a very poor season last term for a number of reasons. We are looking for an improvement on our league position. We managed to get to two semi-finals last year so if we can go one better this season then great.
What will your team will bring to the league this season? I’m hoping the team will bring a new brand of football. We have worked very hard on the way we want to play and the boys are having this drilled into them. For some this is probably the first time they are being coached about actual game scenarios and phases of play.
New signings: We have made three signings in Jonny Haik, Paul Babai and Scott Shindler. We have taken Brad Sharp, Marc Lazare, Dave Fox and Ryan Glynne, Adam Klein into our squad. We also have two boys on trial and a decision will be made on them shortly.
Players out: We let Jon Ellis go to Brady and wish him well. Carl Peters and Ben Ellis have joined North London Raiders A.
Who is the captain? Jake Gotlieb has been made skipper with Kyle Bentwood as vice.
Main challengers The usual suspects in Hendon, Faithfold and Redbridge will be our challengers.
Ones to watch: When you are lucky to have 7 -8 players who have all played in Rep team and Maccabiahs and should really be playing at a higher level then Sundays, so it is hard to name one.
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? We are lucky to have quite a young squad and I think Sammy Ross will be having a great season.
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? We are always looking to strengthen if the right player becomes available.
Home ground: We will use Hadley FC as our home ground.
Sponsors: EC1 Partners (Mr Jamie Cole)
Describe your club in one sentence: Neasden play the game in the right way.
What do you love about the MSFL? What is there not to love?
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A
Competitions entered: Everything
Hopes for the season: To go one better and win the treble.
What will your team will bring to the league this season? We’ll be bringing the same as we always do - hard work, good football and passion.
New signings: Lee Bibring, Fabio, Russell Goldstein, Sam Sollosi, Adam Bolle.
Players out: Craig Sandford, Daran Bern, Adam Hakimi (back after Chanukah)
Who is the captain? TBC
Main challengers The usual suspects – Hendon and Neasden. Brady look very strong as well, and I’m sure FC Team will be strong.
Ones to watch: Sam Sollosi
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? Russell Goldstein
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? No. We’re good to go.
Home ground: Fairlop Oak
Sponsors: Mr Sweets
Describe your club in one sentence: We are the champions.
What do you love about the MSFL? Danny Caro.
SOUTHGATE HARMEN A
Competitions entered: We've entered the Peter Morrison Trophy and Cyril Anekstein Cup
Hopes for the season: Last year was our first season in the Prem and thanks to a good start to the season we finished seventh. I've got a strong squad and I'm looking to break into the top four this year.
What will your team will bring to the league this season? To play the game in the right spirit. I want my team to be modest when we win and gracious when we don’t.
New signings: Well we have Alex Bourne who is back in the team after a year out having had a baby. We have signed Zack White and Nick Bord from North West Neasden. Alan Hart is also back in the squad and will be a great addition. We are looking at four or five young players this weekend and will make our decisions soon.
Players out: Yes, unfortunately we lost Alex Norman and Lee Hyams who joined Chigwell. We also lost Grant Taylor and Elliot Wallis to newly formed SPEC. All four players were a pleasure to manage and very professional in their approach, and I wish them all the very best at their new clubs. I have a feeling Wallis will be back soon though …
Who is the captain? Jon Morris has been at the club since day one and is the most committed and passionate player/captain I know.
Main challengers I don’t know too much about the new teams that have come up but I fancy Hendon to win the league. They have made a few new signings but in Alex Rosenthal, I believe they have the best and most under-rated player in Jewish football. We were very close to signing him this year, but I have a feeling a move could be on the cards in the Chanukah window!
Ones to watch: Personally, I am very excited to see Zack in the team this year. He's always scored against us, he's very composed and understands the game. He's also the right character to bring the best out in others, I'm also expecting big things from Ben Graham this year. He had a bad injury recently, but I’m sure he'll come back stronger. He was top goal-scorer last season from midfield and is just a class act.
Do you have any outstanding youngsters in the squad? I'm hoping that in the next week there will be quite a few ...
Are you still looking to strengthen? If so, in which positions? I'd like to sign a centre back. It's the only position we lack competition at the moment. But if we don’t find someone, then iIknow we have some very versatile players, so wouldn’t be too worried.
Home ground: TBC
Sponsors: Genesis Advisory Services have kindly sponsored us for the next two seasons.
Describe your club in one sentence:A professionally run club that feels like family.
What do you love about the MSFL? I love the fact that it is a tightly knit community and there is so much competition. I get excited about games the week before … not sure quite what it is but it's a great league.
Awaiting details from: London Maccabi Lions A
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