Cohen ready for national level debut

By Danny Caro, January 19, 2012
Focused: Jonny Cohen

Focused: Jonny Cohen

Jonny Cohen says that he is looking forward to making history when he takes the Maccabi Futsal team into their debut match in the FA National Futsal League on Sunday.

Having led the Team GB Open squad to silverware at the European Maccabi Games in Vienna, Cohen will pit his wits against four other teams in the first round of Division Two games at Crystal Palace Leisure Centre.

Maccabi will play four 45-minute matches against Reading Futsal Club, Gloucester Futsal Revolution, University of Plymouth Futsal Club and Kaunus Futsal Club at their adopted home.

Looking ahead to the big kick-off, Cohen said: "I'm extremely proud to be taking this team into the FA National League. In doing so, we are the first team from the Jewish community to play any sport at National League level."

Cohen will take a group of nine players, with Redbridge Jewish Care the best represented MSFL team with four squad members.

Cohen said: "If I'm honest, we have the quality, both in the playing department and on the coaching front.

We're the first team to play at National level

"Leandro Afonso coached the all-conquering Helvécia Futsal Club to three English National Championships, but we have a few long-term injuries and as such, we are in need of more quantity on the playing front."

The Maccabi manager admits to "knowing nothing" about the opposition. He said: "They are an unknown quantity. We have to assume they are as good as any team we have ever played and guard against complacency."

Asked about his goals for the season, Cohen commented: "We really want to win this league but, as I've said, we're struggling for numbers so new recruits are welcome.

"As we don't know the quality of the opposition, I suppose the best we can hope for is that everyone plays to the maximum of their ability and leave nothing in their lockers."

Danny Berliner, the London Lions and North London Raiders goalkeeper, will captain the team who play their first match against Reading Futsal Club.

Squad: Danny Berliner (capt), Adam Joselyn, Daniel Sugarman, Russell Goldstein, Ben Sollosi, Lee Bibring, Jonathan Green, Motti Colman, David Leiwy

Last updated: 2:52pm, January 19 2012