JC CAC final preview: interview with David Garbacz
Hendon manager David Garbacz has done an incredible job at Hendon United Sports Club this season. His summer signings have paid dividends and they are now just three games away from an unprecedented treble. On Sunday, they will be looking to clinch their first piece of silveware when they take on Brady Maccabi A in the final of the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup at Wingate & Finchley. Here, he talks about his squad, his opponents and where he feels the match will be won and lost.
Hopes for the final: "I am hoping for an entertaining game of football which will be a great advert for the Jewish game. It is the showpiece occasion of the season and last season we just lost out in an absolute cracker against Redbridge. I would be hoping for a similar type of game but this time with us coming out with the right result."
Which team starts as favourite/ "We will start as favourite. Brady will relish having the underdog tag and no doubt will go into the game saying how they have nothing to lose. We are under no illusions how strong they can be though if they bring out all the big guns. Whoever plays for them though will not change the fact that we will go into the game as favourites but we are more than happy to have to cope with that pressure. It is inevitable when we are still in there with a great chance of an unprecedented treble."
Ones to watch: "Greg Corin has practically single handedly kept us in this competition. We were one minute away from going out to Lions B in round three in our worst display of the season when he came up with a crucial equaliser but his last second heroic equaliser against Raiders in the semi will live long in the memory as a very special moment Expect another massive performance from Greg in the final.
"Josh Lipman is without doubt the finest defender in Jewish football today and it is criminal that he has not been rewarded with higher Maccabiah honours. He will be immense for us at the back.
"Up front the two youngsters, who have exceeded all expectations this season, are Yoav Kestenbaum and Danny Kon and they are both very exciting talents, and are far too talented to let the occasion get the better of them.
Thoughts on the season so far, Sunday's opponents and where game will be won and lost: It has been an absolute pleasure and an honour to have managed this squad this year. Each and every one of them are fantastic footballers and more importantly great personalities.
"We have tried to play football the right way, not to give referees a hard time and to accept all decisions. We are a very united squad and it has shown in some exceptional performances. We have displayed a never-say-die attitude and there is an incredible determination amongst the squad to do something really special this year.
"Winning the league has always been our priority, but if we can lift a couple of cups as well it would be no less than this bunch of guys deserve. Some of them have been round a long time but we added a couple of new faces this year and a few brilliant youngsters to keep the olders boys on their toes.
"At the moment it has worked wonders but everything we have achieved so far will count for nothing if we don’t finish it off with silverware.
"Brady are very dangerous opponents. We came through an extremely tough semi-final in the Morrison a few weeks ago against them where our overall experience was the telling factor. They have big matchwinners in TJ Keterman and Paul Hakim, and Johnny Ellis is magnificent in the air.
"We know where they are dangerous and we will aim to combat that whilst taking the game to them when going forward. I believe this is a final with the two best teams in the league, despite Brady's league position which doesn't tell the whole story as they only got their new recruits half way through.
"The game will be won and lost down the flanks. Our full-backs need to be strong and sure on a wide Wingate pitch to make sure their forwards see as little of the ball as possible and at the other end our forwards will look to exploit that space to our advantage.
"Midfield will be a battle but I feel we have the edge in that department with the likes of Ben Lauffer and Ari Last having exceptional seasons. It will be close but man for man we are better and providing their big boys don't pull off anything too special we will win this game.
How vital will our recent experience of playing at Wingate be? "I don't think our recent experience of Wingate will count for anything. They have enough big players who have seen it and done it before so a big cup final will not phase them.
"It is the oldest cliche in the book but we do genuinely need to treat it as just another game and relax and not let the pressure get to us.
"We do not have a good record at Wingate - having lost our last three finals there - but we need to put that at the back of our minds and play as we have been playing all season."
What type of football can fans watching Hendon for the first time expect to see?
Committed, skilful, fast tempo. Nobody will shirk a challenge and we will not react to provocation. We play football the right way, looking to keep it on the deck but also knowing that we cannot be predictable.
"We have pace up front and great skill on the wings and the strongest Jewish midfield in the country and a backline who have conceded less than 10 goals in the league all year.
"Where we can we will look to play it out from the back and our keeper is one of the best in the league and has been incredibly consistent all year.
"We can see a game out with experience and guile but even more importantly we will never give up if we are behind and will fight with all we have got right up until the final whistle."
HENDON'S ROUTE TO WINGATE
Semi-Final – bt NL Raiders A 2-1 (AET) – Greg Corin (2)
Quarter-Final – Faithfold C 5-0 - Ben Kon, Josh Bentley, Rafi Kon, Avidan Last, Yoav Kestenbaum
Round 3 – LM Lions B 5-1 (AET) -Greg Corin, Pul Bentley, Ben Kon (2), Danny Kon
Round 2 – Glenthorne Utd A 6-0 - Ari Last (3) Danny Kon (2), Yishai Last
Round 1 - Bye