MSFL preview: Division One
Hakim's team raiders on a spending spree
Winging it: Raiders’ Danny Bloom
Big spending Brady Maccabi and Montana Boca United A look like the teams to beat this season.
Under new manager Simon Hakim, Brady have bolstered their squad with a triple raid of Division One rivals North West Neasden B.
In has come Yoni Sidi, Adam Harvey, Mark Meltzer and Rob Lerner. There are also rumours that Team GB hotshot Paul Hakim, the manager’s son, will play a part in the campaign.
GB’s top-scorer at the Maccabiah, his presence could arguably be the difference between a top four finish and the title.
Relegated last season, Montana Boca United are looking for an instant return to the top-flight. Managers Elan Ovits and Marc Ziedman have been busy wheeling and dealing in the transfer market.
Simon Wax andToby Lustigman have joined from Faithfold. Ben Law, winner of the Safe Hands award last season, has moved to Faithfold. He has been replaced by Watford Academy stopper Daniel Cohen.
Predicting “a quick return to the Premier”, chairman Raymond Harrod has tipped James Tariton as the one to watch.
Jonathan Gibbons, Tom Prevezer, Gavin Hodes, Adam Newman, Matt Smith and the returning Jason Wood join the squad who are looking forward to using their new facilities at Barnet FC new School of excellence.
Southgate Harmen A are also contenders. Former North West Neasden A attacking midfielder Ben Forman is one of a group of players to join along with ex-Camden Park defender Lee Hyams, who brings with him the guarantee of vocal support on the sidelines via his diehard wife, Hayley.
Having won the Division Two title last season, they start the campaign as dark horses. Spokesman David Lyons was keeping his cards close to his chest. “As Arsene Wenger might say ‘we don’t confirm or deny the identity of any signings at this time’,” he said.
Having reached the last four of the Peter Morrison Trophy last season, consistency in the league will be the name of the game for North London Raiders A.
Fantastic on plastic will be the motto of joint-manager Danny Caro who has linked up with Adam Fegan in the dugout. Playing on the 3rd Generation surface at Brunel University in Uxbridge, L’Orange will be looking for an improvement at the back.
Big things are expected from new keeper Stuart Simons and Danny Bloom while the return to fitness of midfielder Mark Leader is key to their plans. David Rhodes and Nick Wiseman make a timely return.
A testing pre-season programme has seen the team looking at several new faces although Andrew Lerner has ruled out a return to the MSFL. Jonny Shapiro is the unsung hero of the team, although Fegan recognised his efforts at the internal end of season BBQ.
Redbridge Jewish Care B features a mixture of last season’s Redbridge boys, some former Chigwell players and some players that are new to the league.
Manager Richard Bronzite said: “We’re aiming to finish as high as possible. We are building towards long-term success but, if we play to our potential, promotion could be achieved immediately. It’s down to the players to see how much they really want it.”
A mixture of youth in Scott McKenzie, Richard Stern, Richard Kanolik, Dan Orgel and Scott Kay will complement the experience of Marc Silver, Dan Sugarman, Daniel Gordon, Daniel Howard, Rob Tabor and Steve Faye.
Camden Park’s chances rely heavily on the fitness of keeper Phil Caplin and record scorer Darren Saffer.
North West Neasden B have added striker Robert Bloch from rivals Oakwood along with A team players David Fox and Danny Daggers as they look to improve on last season’s top five finish. But it looks a big ask with several key players having moved to Brady.
Oakwood have been trying to boost their squad that fell agonisingly short of promotion while the presence of new boys Red Sea brings with it the promise of free-flowing football.
Perennial strugglers Brixton Old Boys will have their work cut out in what looks set to be a tight division.