MJSL Season 2012/13 preview
The MJSL kicks off this weekend with all 12 teams hoping for league success.
The newly-formed Republic of Flixton will be the team to beat this season following their acquisition of former Manchester Maccabi 1st managerial duo Stuart Delmonte and Tony Rosenberg.
The pair enjoyed great success at Maccabi, leading the club to the Peter Morrison Trophy two years ago in their debut season.
Now they’re starting a new era at Republic, who have dropped ‘Mancunia’ from their name after moving into the impressive Accounts Direct Stadium in Flixton.
Republic, who will play on a brand new £6,500 playing surface, will also have the use of two changing rooms, an all-seater stand, floodlights, as well as a covered terrace and clubhouse bar.
And they’ve also been busy in the transfer market, luring several big name signings including former Maccabi 1st stars Adam Tauber and Adam Wilson.
There is quality throughout the squad following the arrivals of Mark Bell, Darren Loofe, Dan Ailion, Rob Jacobs and Dan Garman, while Rafi Bloom has signed after leaving the now defunct Sporting.
It’s difficult to see past Republic for the league title and although Delmonte and Rosenberg will be keen to play down expectations, they should prove too strong for the rest.
Defending champions Haroldeans will be determined to defend their title after romping their way to glory last term.
But there was bad news for the Merseysiders on the eve of the new season after top-scorer and MJSL player of the year Bobby Abrams confirmed his intention to leave the club for South Manchester Sports Club.
But if they did a worthy replacement, Haroldeans will still feel they can be leading force and should be in the mix at the end of the season.
Manchester Maccabi 2nd will also be one to watch under the guidance of new manager Irving Modlin.
The ever-dependable Sheldon Lee will be the rock at the heart of Maccabi’s defence, while several younger faces will be hoping to impress.
“I think we’ve got a good strong squad,” said Modlin. “We’re looking for a top two or three finish.”
Oakhill Lions might have challenged for the league title last term had they been able to start the season at the same time as the rest of the league.
The Manchester students are continuously playing catch-up with their term starting in late September and the league beginning in August.
A new management team of David Seligman and Joni Kleinman has taken over from last year’s duo of Zack Gothelf and Josh Daniels.
Lions have also lost influential midfielder Marc Woolfe, while Harry Roache, Sam Cramer and Simon Nesbitt have also left the club.
Oakhill played some of the best football in the MJSL last season and if they can hit the ground running then they could prove dark horses for this year’s title.
South Manchester Sports Club 2nd will be hoping to improve on last season’s fifth placed finish.
Managers Neil Collins and Gary Stewart are hoping for a cup run after failing to make the later stages last year.
“We hope to improve on last season’s major disappointment in cup and league,” said Collins.
“There is lots of football with 22 games so not everything is lost after a couple of defeats.”
Paul Levy has taken over as manager of the newly-formed FC Cosmos and is hoping to spring a few surprises.
Levy, who coached Republic of Mancunia’s 2nd team last term, is keeping his cards close to his chest over new signings but is bullish mood ahead of the new season.
He said: “We’ve got a lot of very exciting young players and hopefully we can have a good season. I’m not sure where we’ll finish but we’ve got a lot of good players.”
Leeds Maccabi 3rd could surprise a few people this season, according to manager Alex Ullmann.
After last year’s struggles, Ullmann has added a whole host of new faces to the squad including some much needed experience.
“We’ve added a lot of players from last year’s second team and that should give us a bit more experience and help the younger players,” he said.
“I think we’ll be much stronger this year.”
Last year’s Jekyll and Hyde outfit Crumpsall will provide two teams in the MJSL this season.
Avram Klyne will take charge of the first team, who produced a shock victory over Republic of Mancunia 1st in last year’s Tony Cohen Cup. Michael Pine will lead the Crumpsall second team.
Manchester Maccabi 3rd will have an emphasis on youth once again with some of the older players moving to their second team.
Maccabi have produced some of the most exciting youngsters to play in the MJSL and will surely unearth another few gems this season.
Leeds Maccabi 2nd will kick off their season towards the end of October with the bulk of their players coming from the local universities.
Following the closure of Hyde Park Rovers, Maccabi will oversee the latest student team to represent Leeds in the MJSL.
Broughton will be hoping to improve on last season’s performance after managing just one win from their 20 league games.
Broughton finished rock bottom but improved markedly following the arrival of new manager Sidney Fulda.
But they will have their work cut out if they are avoid a similar fate this time around.