Big guns readyfor MJSL battle

August 18, 2011
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Champions: Manchester Maccabi 3rd

Champions: Manchester Maccabi 3rd

Republic of Mancunia
Last season: Shonn Trophy winners
Finished: 2nd
Manager: Stuart Shapiro

Verdict: After the heartbreak of missing out on last season's league title, Republic are determined to go one better this year. New boss Stuart Shapiro takes over the reins with Anthony Bloch moving upstairs to oversee the running of the club. Defender Simon Kaye and last season's Player of the Year, Dave Eden, are the men who Republic will rely upon along with frontman Moishe Hasid.

Republic of Mancunia 2nd

Last season: N/A
Finished: Did not enter
Managers: Paul Levy and Ian Newman

Verdict: Republic are yet to confirm which players will be plying their trade in the second team. Likely to be made up of several ex-Westdene stars, Republic are hoping their second string will provide back-up for a very successful and talented first-team. Club secretary Jamie Lyons is also adamant that players who do the business for the 2nd team will be given the chance to shine for the title-chasing side.

South Manchester Sports Club 2nd

Last season: Feldman Trophy runners-up
Finished: 4th
Manager: Neil Collins

Verdict: A disastrous showing in last season's Feldman Trophy final still rankles with boss Neil Collins. South faded in the final part of last season after dropping out of the title race but they will be dark horses this year. The addition of Republic pair Darren Loofe and Oli Basger will bolster the squad, while Nottingham University striker Jack Lee is certainly one to watch this season.

Manchester Maccabi 3rd

Last season: Premier Division champions
Finished: 1st
Managers: Steve Bentwood and Sheldon Lee

Verdict: The departure of MJSL Player of the Year Louis Basso to the club's first team will come as a huge blow to the reigning champions. Manager Martin Simons has also moved on after being appointed as new boss of the second string and has taken top scorer Josh Hayes with him. New management duo Steve Bentwood and Sheldon Lee will have their work cut out if they are to retain the title.

Haroldeans

Last season: Shonn Trophy runners-up
Finished: 5th
Manager: Ivan Gee

Verdict: Last season was a year to forget for the 2010 champions as they failed to launch any kind of title challenge. Boss Ivan Gee has had a busy summer with Bobby Abrams joining from Hyde Park, while Zack Goodman has also agreed to sign for the Merseysiders. Gee's men will once again rely on star men Paul Harris and Josh Silverberg if they are to get back to the very top.

Hyde Park Rovers

Last season: Shonn Trophy and Feldman Trophy semi-finalists
Finished: 3rd
Manager: David Domb

Verdict: A season which had promised so much for Hyde Park eventually came to nothing as indiscipline and red cards cost them the chance of league glory. With boss Philip Braham and the league's top scorer Oli Grant both having quit to join Manchester Maccabi 1st, the Leeds students are facing a real challenge to keep up with the leading lights of the MJSL.

Sporting JLGB

Last season: Tony Cohen Memorial winners
Finished: 6th
Manager: Gavin Sharpe

Verdict: Don't say it too loudly but Sporting JLGB could just be the team to pull off a shock title triumph. Sporting showed they could mix it with the big boys last year by beating both Republic and Haroldeans and will be keen to improve this year. Manager Sharpe has brought in several new players but star man Rafi Bloom is the man to watch once again.

Leeds Maccabi 3rd

Last season: N/A
Finished: Did not enter
Manager: Alex Ullman

Verdict: It's great to have another Leeds-based side in the MJSL this season and Alex Ullman's men aren't here to simply make up the numbers. Leeds will be hoping to make their mark in the opening weeks of the season with games against Crumpsall and South Manchester 2nds.

Broughton WAM

Last season: N/A
Finished: Did not enter
Manager: David Bor

Verdict: David Bor has a tough job on his hands to inspire MJSL new boys Broughton to League glory this season. Broughton face champions Manchester Maccabi 3rd and Republic of Mancunia in their opening two fixtures in what promises to be a real batism of fire.

Oakhill Lions

Last season: Feldman Trophy winners
Finished: 7th
Manager: Zack Gothelf

Verdict: Student teams are notoriously slow starters with Freshers week normally claiming several victims. New manager Zack Gothelf will be hoping his boys can stay off the birds and booze if they are to build on last year's successful cup run. With this season's squad still to be finalised, Oakhill remain an unknown force ahead of the big kick off.

Crumpsall

Last season: Tony Cohen memorial runners-up
Finished: 8th
Manager: Nathan Feldman

Verdict: Crumpsall endured a disappointing season last year but under new boss Nathan Feldman there is an air of optimism. The signing of top striker Ben Rose is a real coup and his partnership with Michael Freedman could inspire Crumpsall to cup glory.

    Last updated: 2:12pm, August 18 2011