It's business as usual for Maccabiah dream team

By Danny Caro, February 16, 2012
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Going for gold: Dan Jacobs and Jamie Cole (above) are on a mission

Going for gold: Dan Jacobs and Jamie Cole (above) are on a mission

They say opposites attract. In appointing Dan Jacobs and Jamie Cole as the management duo to take the Team GB Masters 35's squad to Israel for next summer's Maccabiah Games, the organising committee will be hoping to have kindled a relationship that will flourish between two of Jewish football's hottest managerial properties.

Even with their tenure in its infancy, it was clear when I met them at the weekend that they have a deep respect for each other and an enthusiasm for the job that will ensure they leave no stone unturned in their quest to put together a squad capable of challenging for medals.

How excited are you about the opportunity to lead your country at the 2013 Maccabiah Games?

"We honestly could not be more excited, and see the opportunity to put together a squad to represent GB at a Maccabiah as probably the highest honour open to a Jewish football manager.

Dan Jacobs

Dan Jacobs

"Our combined experience of playing and managing both in Jewish, non-Jewish and Maccabiah football will, we hope, stand us in great stead to tackle what we know will be a plethora of challenges ahead.

"We go into this with a great deal of humility and a desire to prove ourselves capable of successfully managing a squad at this level that can compete for what's to date been an elusive gold."

Last week in the JC, Open manager David Pollock spoke about the cost issues. Given that the Masters are asked to contribute slightly more, do you believe this will affect your ability to attract the top players?

"We're under no illusion that this is a costly trip and raising funds in these times is harder than ever, but while cost is of course a concern, right now that's not something we want any potential players to be thinking about.

"In the short-term, it's about getting together the best group of players we can, as to us this is all about an 18 months long experience and not just the two weeks in Israel. During this time we'll develop as a squad and will tackle the serious issue of the monies that need to be raised together.

"Collective responsibility makes one stronger; the working together to plan, promote, implement and enjoy fundraising events as a unit is something we are determined to make a positive."

What type of football will you be playing in Israel?

"Although the Games are a long way off, it's impossible not to allow our minds occasionally to drift to the football itself. We both have philosophies as managers that games are there to be won, and while our pattern of play will to an extent be determined by the players we have available, it is in our minds to create a super fit squad that will allow us to play an attacking brand of football that focuses on scoring goals rather than simply not conceding."

Do you have any news about your coaching set up and trials?

"With our positions only formalised a week ago, we've been frantically getting the wheels in motion. Whilst we've had our successes as managers, neither of us is stupid enough to think we know it all when it comes to the football. While we will have an input, it is our intention to appoint a top level coach to really develop the playing side of things.

"We are in the process of interviewing suitable candidates - based on the calibre of applicant we have seen to date we know the squad can't help but be enthused by whoever we select.

"We plan to hold an open trial on April 1 in London that we'd like all to attend. From there we will hold further trials if required and are prepared to travel the country to watch guys in their own environments if that's what's needed to help us select the best possible squad."

What would your message be to anyone in the country considering applying?

"Simple - apply. Don't pre-judge, don't let previous experiences cloud your judgement and don't worry about the cost for now. If you will have turned 35 by December 31, 2013 and believe that you have something to offer apply online and come for the trial.

"We will be in touch with the applicants soon. Players genuinely have nothing to lose by trialling but we promise a whole load they can possibly gain."

    Last updated: 5:23pm, February 16 2012