Sport news

MSFL preview: Premier Division

By Danny Caro, September 3, 2009

Targeting a third consecutive Premier Division title, North West Neasden A start the campaign as favourites.

The addition of Maccabiah star James Gershfield and Mancunian Kyle Bentwood means they should not be hard-hit by the loss of Ricky Kennet and Lee Bibring, who have returned to London Maccabi Lions A after one season.

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MSFL preview: Division One

By Danny Caro, September 3, 2009

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.

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Kestenbaum: 'It's time to take a break'

By Danny Caro, September 2, 2009

Jonathan Kestenbaum, the man who led Team GB to its first Maccabiah Open football medal for almost 50 years, has decided to take a sabbatical from all football duties in the coming season.

Kestenbaum came within seconds of steering GB to gold in Israel two months ago before losing the final on penalties against Argentina. He has also relinquished his duties as manager of the JC MSFL Rep Team.

“It was a difficult decision,” he said. “But for the moment, the right one. I feel extremely fortunate to have had an extended association with Jewish football.”

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Israel ready for World Cup double-header

By Simon Griver, September 2, 2009

Israel go into their World Cup double-header knowing that anything short of six points will end their hopes of reaching the finals in South Africa next summer.

Lying fourth in Group 2, they host Latvia tomorrow night and Luxembourg on Wednesday in the latest round of qualifiers.

Tal Ben Haim admits that Israel faces an uphill struggle. “We had bad results in games that we should have won,” he said. “We made mistakes and paid dearly. But that’s history and while we still have a small chance, we will do everything to stay in the picture.

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Tough test

September 2, 2009

Maccabi Haifa will have their work cut out to progress beyond the Champions League group stage having been drawn to face Bayern Munich, Juventus and Bordeaux in Group A of the Champions League.

But striker Shlomi Arbeitman believes they can spring a surprise. “We have a great coach in Elisha Levy who knows how to get us ready,” he said. “Why shouldn’t we think positively? If Haifa managed to beat Manchester United and Olympiacos in 2002/03, we can beat any team. Don’t rule us out too early.”

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MSFL preview: Division Two

By Danny Caro, September 2, 2009

Chigwell Athletic begin the season boasting a clutch of players proven at Premier Division level. Whoever finishes above them is likely to be crowned champions.

Founded in 2001 by Richard Slater, Daniel Castle, Glenn Davis, Darren Morris, Russell Yershon and Steve Summers, the Chigs still hold the record of reaching the top-flight in only four seasons, winning three league titles along the way.

Keeper Neil Lawson is aiming for the most shutouts and with the rock-solid pairing of Jon Raven and Jon Swead in front of him, opposition strikeforces will have their work cut out.

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Tal Ben Haim moves to Portsmouth

By Barry Toberman, September 1, 2009

Israeli international defender Tal Ben Haim has completed a move from Manchester City to Portsmouth on transfer deadline day.

Ben Haim, 27, has signed a four-year deal with the Premier League strugglers and could make his debut on September 12 against Bolton, his first English club. It was the player’s three successful years at Bolton that prompted Chelsea to bring him to Stamford Bridge in 2007. But he failed to hold down a regular place with the Blues and joined City a year later.

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Teen idols

By Simon Griver, August 27, 2009

Champions league Maccabi Haifa beat Red Bull Salzburg 3-0 on Tuesday to reach the group stage of the Champions League for the first time since 2002.

More than 33,000 fans at the Ramat Gan stadium saw the Greens complete a comfortable 5-1 aggregate victory over
the Austrian champions to earn the club a second-ever appearance in football’s richest club competition.

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Lauren at TA

August 27, 2009

Former Arsenal and Portsmouth star Lauren has been trying out for Maccabi Tel Aviv this week. The 32-year-old Cameroon international, who was a member of Arsenal’s invincibles in 2003, has been sidelined for 18 months with a knee injury and Maccabi’s new owner, the Canadian magnate Mitchell Goldhar, wants to be assured about the player’s fitness before signing him.

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MSFL preview: Division Four

By Danny Caro, August 27, 2009

Four new clubs have joined the Maccabi League with Blizzard Storm and Jewventus promising big things.

Managed by Simon Linden, the former Essex Wanderers and UJIA midfield maestro, Blizzard Storm could be the team to beat. Set up by Seb Vandemolen and Nick Rubin, Linden will work with a group of players, most of whom were successful in the guise of Southend Jewish Youth Club. The manager said: “I’m very confident that we have a good squad of players capable of doing very well.”

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