Manchester hungry for silverware
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Manchester Maccabi gear up for the new season on the back of their stunning success in the final of the Peter Morrison Trophy last season.
Managed by Stuart Delmonte and Tony Rosenberg, the Brooklands club will be looking for an improved showing in the second division of the Tameside League in which they tailed off in the final weeks of the campaign.
Having mounted a strong challenge, four games in little more than a week proved their undoing as they eventually ran out of steam and more pertinently, players.
In a bid to avoid such a scenario catching them up again when Jewish and non-Jewish cup games pile on added midweek fixtures, Delmonte has been busy strengthening his squad.
Josh Hayes has been promoted from the third string which won the MJSL last season, whilst Louie Basso is another who contributed well when called in from the club's third team.
The prolific Oli Grant has come in from Hyde Park, whilst Dan Taylor and Jonathan Quinn have arrived from Nottingham University. They also welcome a recruit from Spain in Adam Wilson, who, according to Delmonte, was "signed for a case of sangria". In total 10 players have arrived during the summer.
With such wholesale changes, it would be easy to forget that Maccabi had some talented players in their ranks already. Michael Sacks, who recently helped Team GB win gold at the European Maccabi Games in Vienna, Adam Lavin and Rafi Leker were instrumental in the run to the Morrison final which saw them beat Faithfold A at Oldham.
The management team will be looking for more goals from prodigious youngster Jacob Richler-Kleiman, whose phenomenal scoring run helped Maccabi claim a famous victory over London Maccabi Lions at Rowley Lane.
Maccabi have had a busy pre-season as they prepare for the kick off to the new league season against Hartshead this weekend.
They have beaten Joan Collins Premier Division title favourites Republic of Mancunia 3-0, as well as enjoying a 2-0 win over Worsley and a 2-1 success against King George. They also drew with Smedley Rangers 1-1, whilst a 2-0 defeat to Farnworth Town has been their only loss during the summer.
Delmonte has set his sights high for the season. He said: "We said that we would love to win the Morrison in the first three years, but won it in one.
"Now we want to win the Tameside League or any of the four cups."
With a team that he encourages to play expansive football, whilst retaining the ability to mix it physically, Maccabi should be confident of having another good season and competing for the league crown.