PMT final preview: Oakwood history and pen pics
Oakwood EDRS has been knocking around been for many years, but the story of the current team began in 2006. Jonny Beilin and Ric Blank took over the reigns of the Oakwood EDRS C team - bringing in a group of friends who had relocated from the provinces after university. Back then they had no inkling of how far the team would go over the next six years. They lost four out of our first five games but then went on an unbelievable winning run, winning 12 of the last 13 games and securing promotion into Division Two. Indeed, half the team that won promotion from Division Three still play today. That’s true testament to the Oakwood spirit and was a reflection of the general improvement made by the squad. Along with the now deceased South Manx side, the Oaks stormed Division Two - taking the title on goal difference and entered the world of Division One in 2008. They' acquired a few players along the way but the spirit never diminished. Division One was a big step up for the club and it took us a while to find their feet – which we did, narrowly missing out on promotion three years on the trot. Last year was especially tough to take as they put in so many good performances but fell apart at the last. This season has seen the accumulation of experience, talent and determination result in us winning the division comfortably. They now have the holy grail of Prem football to look forward to – a challenge that we are not taking lightly.
MEET THE TEAM:
OLI GEE - Keeper - improved with every game and his amazing reflexes have got the team out of trouble on more than one occasion. A phenomenal save in Manchester is a huge reason they are here at Wingate
ROB DAVIDSON - Full-Back - Robbie D is an Oakwood stalwart. He made his debut as a winger with dashing hair back in 2006, before reverting to full-back without the hair a couple of years later. Speaks better Yiddish than he does English and has always brought much-needed Leodensian mushuginess to the dressing room. Top lad!
DAVID COHEN - Full-Back - The Jewish Paul Parker, DC has been around since time immemorial. After a brief foray at centre half in his formative years, DC has played full back ever since. Even when he plays in the garden he puts himself at full-back. South Man old boy, DC will relish playing in his first PM final
JONNY BEILIN - - Full-Back - Ex-player-manager, JB focuses on playing these days - and to great effect. He’s had a fantastic season and will be looking to show off his new side parting to the Wingate crowd. Wife Katy makes a wonderful brunch!
EDDIE MANSON - Left-Back - Oakwood coach Eddie Manson has been invaluable to the club over the past few years since transferring from Lions. His experience at a high level and sheer quality on the ball make him indispensable both on and off the pitch. Last seen with eyebrows furrowed, eyes squinting in disbelief as another ball is blasted over the fence at training
ADAM LEVINE - Centre-Half & Captain - Adam took the armband from Gary Bloch when the latter stepped down a couple of years ago. Adam’s aerial ability belies his lack of height and to say he’s committed is somewhat of an understatement. Old fashioned centre half, Adam is never shy in introducing himself to his opposite number
ILAN SCORAH - Centre-Half - The King likes to wear check shirts from Top Man. It’s just what he does. Elegant as they come and Hendon old boy, Ilan has been a wonderful acquisition for Oakwood in the past two years. He’ll be looking to show his old club what they’re missing
ERIC LEWIS - Centre-Half - Ez joined the club with Josh Rubin and has proven himself to be an excellent centre half (even if he doesn’t agree!). Die-hard Everton fan, Ez is very popular amongst the boys but got injured at the wrong time, limiting his chances in the second half of the campaign
STEFAN ISAACS - Centre-Half - The old man of Oakwood, Stef has been with the side since day one. Incredibly committed and loyal, his improvement at centre half over the years has been immense. He hasn’t played as much as he would have liked this season but he knows how valued he is to the management, on and off the pitch. Drives a sick car!
DAN ASH - Winger - Ashy is a ridiculous character. Clinically insane, he dresses like a foreign exchange student and though he tries to hide it, is actually a very smart guy. With pace to burn, Oakwood hope to see the real Dan Ash today
DAN GEEY - Centre-Mid - with tremendous fitness and no little courage, DG is the heartbeat of this Oakwood side. Inventor of hand gestures that even the most fluent signers would be proud of, DG can often be seen gesticulating wildly at players and management alike. Note the look of bewilderment on the recipient’s face when DG’s hands get going. It’s genuine!
DAN ABRAMS - Centre-Mid - Abo is another stalwart of this Oakwood side and has had his best season for years in centre mid. Fit, strong on the ball with a good work rate, Abo’s love for the game is obvious for all to see. As is his love of coffee and croissant before games
JAMES ABRAMS - Centre-Mid - J-star is a wonderfully graceful player to watch. His days as a pacy forward may be behind him but he can now be found using his quick feet and silky touch to play in a deeper role. Sort of like the Andrea Pirlo of Jewish football. Sort of!
BRAD WINE - Winger - signed from Leeds Maccabi in the summer, Brad is a firm favourite amongst the players for his work-rate and winning mentality. Lover of jazz and berghaus winter wear, Brad is destined to be an Oakwood hero for years to come
IAN TUSSIE - Forward - the Matt Le Tissier of Oakwood, Ian has scored some spectacular goals over the years. He’s also had some equally spectacular sulks. Loves his football and hates shooting from distance. Last seen negotiating a sponsorship deal with Woody’s Grill!
ANTHONY KINTISH - Striker - one of the Oakwood originals, Kinny has terrorised MSFL defences ever since he moved to London. A sickeningly good athlete, Kinny puts the younger lads to shame in the fitness stakes and will be looking to use all his running power today up front
JOSH RUBIN - Striker - suffered a bad knee injury not long after signing from Southgate last Chanukah. His return to the side coincided with an unbelievable run of form and he’s got better with each passing game. Will be a key player for Oakwood in the Prem and will be looking to enjoy himself at Wingate
MATT GEEY - Forward - as the song goes Matty plays on the left, plays on the right, plays at the back and he plays out wide – Matty G’s an Oakwood hero. As well as always working hard for the team, Matty has an uncanny nack of popping up with a crucial goal. The final would be a good time to add to his tally
JASON LINDSAY - Striker - he’s big, he’s cockney, he’s Jason Lindsay. The Oaks tried to sign Jase in the summer but Neasden A beat us to the punch. Fortunately he couldn’t resist the lure of Oakwood for long and made the move just before Christmas to inspire the team on a winning run that has taken us into the Premier Division and on to Wingate. Unique character, Jase gives the side something else whenever he’s on the pitch
BEN MYERS - Forward - another off the South Manchester conveyor belt, Benny M has as much technical ability as anyone in the squad. When he wants he can be devastating. His challenge is to add consistency to his game and he’ll be a menace to Premiership teams throughout the land
DAVID EPSTEIN - Social Director - Oakwood’s Ari Gold, Dave is the core of the Oakwood spirit. Scores goals for fun (in training) and makes Oakwood cash go further than anyone else in London. Took over from second best mate Steven Berke after Berkey went to Leeds and has not let Oakwood down. End of season Championship celebrations should be small
MARC HYAMSON – footballer - Hymo doesn’t have an actual position. He’s just a majestic being who happens to play football. This was clear from the moment he turned up at training with a wonderful head of slicked back hair. Can be absolutely guaranteed to do something completely wonderful in those white boots – be it in training or on a Sunday
ALEX SCHOCK - Co-Manager - aged 14, Schocky was the tallest man in Manchester. He’s shrunk somewhat in the last 16 years but remains key to the Oakwood dream. An uncultured centre half in his day, he’s now retired after two back ops and concentrates on Oakwood admin in his spare time. Joined the club in 2009 and has been an inspired appointment
RIC BLANK - Co-Manager - Blanky set up the current Oakwood side in 2006 as a player manager and has seen the club up the divisions – from the third to the Premier. Under his leadership the club has gone from strength to strength with legendary socials and a spirit incomparable in Jewish football. Passionately believes in all things Oakwood and is more motivated than ever to have a crack at the big time. Plays much less these days due to countless injuries but still puts the kicking boots on from time to time