Let's do it in style, says Maccabiah football manager
David Pollock is targeting a historic treble after he was named manager of the Team GB Open football squad for next year’s Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Pollock, 52, was joint-manager of the all-conquering squad who won gold at last summer’s European Maccabi Games in Vienna and he was also part of the successful 45-plus Masters team that won the 2009 Maccabiah title.
Lives: Hatch End
Occupation: Managing Director of Greene and Co estate agents
2009 – won gold as manager of the Masters 45+ team
2011 – won gold as joint-manager of the Open Football squad
Chairman of London Maccabi Lions
Q&A WITH TEAM GB OPEN FOOTBALL MANAGER – DAVID POLLOCK
How do you feel about getting the job?
"I'm really excited at the prospect. We had a really good bunch of guys in Austria, with great spirit. I want to build on it a build a great football and Maccabiah spirit.
What are you goals for Israel in 2013?
"If we win with the right balance it will be fantastic, but I won’t know if it will surpass what we did in 2009 – our first football gold in 45 years. I’m going for a hat-trick and it would be really special.
"What would mean more to me than gold is that the boys soak in the full Maccabiah experience. It’s a lot more than just a football tournament. On the pitch it’s about winning and not coming second in a creditable way that reflects the spirit of the Games. It’s about winning in the right way."
Do you have any concerns aout the cost of the Games?
"A lot of people talk about the cost of the Games but forget it’s a two-and-a-half-week experience including pre-camp, so they underestimate the costs involved.
"Cost will be the biggest challenge in these very hard economic times. The boys will find it very hard to go to Israel and make it affordable. On the fund-raising side, I hope to make it as easy as we can and subsidise where possible.
"I want the players have to approach the financial situation one step at a time. The message is get through the trial process and then we’ll discuss. I’d hate to see anyone not go because they couldn’t afford it.
"I want to bring the cost down for all the boys and we will work as one to turn the negatives into a positive.
"It's important we get the best players on the plane and that they experience the Maccabiah Games rather than luxury weekends away."
What are you plans for the coaching team?
"Being a Maccabiah manager is like driving a bus. You need the right people in the right seats. I’ll take the views of my team into account comfortable with my knowledge base and let the right people make the correct decisions.
"It’s important I get the right structure in place and I’m very excited to work with Bobby again. I’ll be surrounding myself with people who are more intelligent than me football-wise. That’s the kind of thing that builds a successful team."
How to you plan to ensure the top Jewish players in the country are watched?
"We'll be looking to get as many people involved as possible and I’ll be working with someone in the north of England. Once we select a provisional squad, we’ll be watching all the boys two or three times before we narrow it down to a final 18, so anyone in Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool should know that it won’t just be based on one trial."
How far do you think you can go in Israel?
"It’s about rolling up our sleeves and in many respects, being a bit of an underdog. We’ll adopt a siege mentality with the mindset of a gold-medal winning experience.
"We will do well if we adopt the right attitude early on. If we get that right then I’ll be very confident.”
What do you think about the state of Jewish football/overall standard?
"I believe Jewish football is strong right now. London Lions are playing in the South Midlands League, while there are some great players at Redbridge Jewish Care and North West Neasden.
"There are also some other hidden gems dotted around and I recently saw a Manchester Maccabi team with some excellent players.
"The squad will be very well prepared and I’m looking for players based in the UK."