Danny Caro's end of season 2018/19 review

Hendon United Sports, HMH, Redbridge Jewish Care, North London Galaxy and Hertswood Vale took the honours in league and cup in season 2018/19, so now it's time to assess the strengths and weaknesses of all the teams who featured in the MGBSFL.




Record: Pl. 18, W. 14, D. 2, L. 2, F. 51, A. 25, Pts. 44

Best win: 3-1 vs Oakwood (Anekstein final)

Biggest win: Cup – 16-0 vs Temple Fortune, League – 10-4 vs Faithfold

Worst result: 2-0 vs Oakwood

Top-scorer: Rocky Spitzer

Star men: Chaim Korman, Rocky Spitzer, Ari Nevies

Games failed to score in: 1

Clean sheets: 8

Matches postponed: 1

Best signing: Gav Noe

DC Verdict: Hendon United do exactly what it says on the tin. New manager Jordan Sapler had a tough act to follow after taking over the reins from Greg Corin, but didn’t he do well. He followed in the footsteps of Lord Kestenbaum, Lord Garbacz and Corin by bringing home the silverware … not just one piece, but two. The comeback in the Cyril Anekstein Cup was real Roy of the Rovers’ stuff, while they held off the challenge of HMH, the new kids on the block, to retain the title by eight points – the same margin as the previous year. Goalkeeper Russell Corin kept the most clean sheets, but he couldn’t have done it without the efforts of his trusty lieutenants – Ari Nevies and Simon Peterman. Youth came in the shape of Mordi Weiler, who spent more time attacking than defending, plus Jonti Aremband, Jordan Mizrahi and Zac Garbacz, who all came of age and never let anyone down. Not forgetting Chaim Korman – a contender for Player of the Season. So if anyone questioned Hendon’s continuity plan, they appear to have all bases covered. Josh Harris enjoyed another solid season, while Dovi Fehler and Zac Lewis scored and assisted virtually every week. Not even an injury to talisman and captain Ari Last could halt them. Jonny Kay, Yehuda Korman and Avi Korman saw to that. Rocky Spitzer had without doubt his best-ever season in the MGBSFL. Both he and Chaim Korman are among the leading contenders for Player of the Year. Both were regular scorers and led by example, to ensure Hendon kept the bar high and held off the challenge of both HMH and Oakwood. Yes the Morrison exit in Liverpool against losing finalists Haroldeans ended their hopes of the treble, but once again, they have plenty to be proud of.


2. HMH

Record: Pl. 18, W. 10, D. 6, L. 2, F. 39, A. 19, Pts. 36

Best win: 5-1 vs Hendon

Biggest win: 6-0 vs Brady

Worst result: 4-3 vs Faithfold

Top-scorers: Oscar Wagner, Adam Abadi

Star men: Thomas Prais, Josh Goldstein, Sammy Kingston, Oscar Wagner, Jake Doffman

Games failed to score in: 2

Clean sheets: 3

Matches postponed: 3

Best signing: Jake Doffman

DC Verdict: Eyebrows were raised when Avi Goldberg’s ‘boys’ jumped straight into the Premier Division upon joining the MGBSFL. But they needn’t have been. HMH were a breath of fresh air, winning the Jewish FA Cup and finishing runners-up in their first full season in senior football. Much like Jurgen Klopp, Goldberg turned his players and fans from dreamers into believers. They were Hendon United’s bogey team, unbeaten against the league champions in three games. They made their intentions clear from the outset, thumping Hendon 5-1. It was no fluke result believe you me. The perils of a young team, who have come out the other side of university, means they had players who left to go travelling during the business end of the season. But it mattered not. Especially when you can sign a player of the calibre of Jake Doffman, who oozed star qualities back in rightful position! In Thomas Prais, Sammy Kingston and Josh Goldstein, they have three of the best defenders in Jewish football. Prais also did a job in midfield when called upon, with the likes of Teddie Levenfiche and Oxford University captain Leo Ackerman did the business when called upon. George Goldberg, Adam Abadi and Ethan Krell are also worthy of mentions, while that man Oscar Wagner grabbed many headlines with his classy goals, including a pair in the Morrison final. They were unbeaten in front of the JC cameras in a season to remember. HMH fans can look forward to seeing the red-hot Adam Ellis line up in the famous sky blue colours, and his quality will ensure they are pushing for more silverware.



Record: Pl. 18, W. 10, D. 2, L. 6, F. 42, A. 26, Pts. 32

Best win: 2-0 vs Hendon

Biggest win: 6-1 vs Brady

Worst result: 5-2 vs Los Camden

Top-scorer: Josh Bharier

Star men: Josy Cuby, Josh Bharier, Alex Lee

Games failed to score in: 3

Clean sheets: 5

Matches postponed: 4

Best signing: Josh Bharier

DC Verdict: Oakwood were just seconds away from retaining the League Cup, before succumbing in extra-time against arch rivals Hendon United in the final. Likewise, they were within touching distance of eliminating winners HMH in the Morrison. Small details ... the difference between winning and losing. But they failed to hit the heights of recent years in the league where they lost six matches. Injuries to some of their big-hitters meant they could not keep pace with Hendon and HMH, despite the best efforts of the two Josh’s - the prolific front pairing Cuby and Bharier. Alex Lee was in commanding form at the back, while Harvey Kaye enjoyed a purple patch mid-season, but the top two raised the bar so high in terms of consistency they fell just short. Joint-manager Dan Kristall summed things up perfectly after the final game: “We have a busy summer ahead, lots of things to improve on, but don’t go writing us off for silverware next season.”



Record: Pl. 18, W. 7, D. 4, L. 7, F. 44, A. 40, Pts. 25

Best win: 3-1 vs Oakwood

Biggest win: Cup – 16-0 vs Scrabble, League – 5-0 vs Los Camden

Worst result: 4-1 vs HMH

Top-scorer: Reiss Mogilner

Star men: Jack Franks, Alex Taylor

Games failed to score in: 1

Clean sheets: 2

Matches postponed: 0

Best signing: Reiss Mogilner

DC Verdict: Lions were one of very few teams across the league not to have a match postponed, for any reason. Having won the Peter Morrison Trophy last season, they started the season with high expectations, especially after luring goal-poacher Reiss Mogilner from stablemates Brady Maccabi. But on the pitch they conceded an alarming number of goals in their opening fixtures. Young goalkeeper Jack Franks helped shore things up, earning some rave reviews for some inspired displays in nets while the experience of Alex Taylor in front of him was vital. Dropped points against the teams below them proved costly and I expect reinforcements to come in to ensure they are once again challenging for honours next season.



Record: Pl. 18, W. 5, D. 3, L. 10, F. 33, A. 46, Pts. 18

Best wins: Cup - 2-0 vs HMH (Anekstein), League – 2-1 vs HMH & 5-2 vs Oakwood

Biggest win: 5-2 vs Oakwood

Worst result: 6-1 vs Hendon

Top-scorer: Oli Sade

Star men: Oli Sade, Johann Jordi, Guy Fenton, Josh Tiano

Games failed to score in: 3

Clean sheets: 3

Matches postponed: 1

Best signings: Gav Krieger, Ashley Couque

DC Verdict: Los Camden were HMH’s bogey team – beating them in league and the League Cup. But despite adding depth to an already talented squad, they struggled with consistency of result rather than consistency of performances. Striker Oli Sade produced some excellent displays and scored some stupendous goals, while goalkeeper Steven Murad proved himself as one of the most reliable custodians in the MGBSFL. Both players would walk into most teams. At times they were let down by indiscipline, finishing games with less than their full quota, but Stirling Kay got his team playing and playing well. The bottom line is they never give any team an easy game, and with a few quality additions they could be eyeing a top four or five finish next season.




Record: Pl. 18, W. 4, D. 2, L. 12, F. 34, A. 55, Pts. 14

Best result: 3-3 vs Lions

Biggest win: 5-2 vs Brady

Worst result: 10-4 vs Hendon

Top-scorer: Avi Markiewicz

Star man: David Leiwy

Games failed to score in: 5

Clean sheets: 0

Matches postponed: 1

Best signing: Eli Davila

DC Verdict: Like Brady, they struggled for goals, but often saved their best for the top teams. The failure to find a regular and decent goalkeeper was another factor that held them back, despite the best efforts of player-manager Avi Markiewicz, who registered 46 players. Indeed Markiewicz and co will learn much about their first season in the top-flight, especially the need for consistent availability. For instructions, see Hendon.



Record: Pl. 18, W. 3, D. 1, L. 14, F. 16, A. 48, Pts. 10

Best win: 3-1 vs Los Camden

Biggest win: 3-1 vs Los Camden

Worst result: 5-2 vs Faithfold

Top-scorer: Ben Kohler, Marc Rister

Games failed to score in: 4

Clean sheets: 1

Matches postponed: 4

DC Verdict: The boots of Reiss Mogilner were always going to be big ones to fill, and so it proved. Joel Nathan’s boys failed to score in four games and were unable to produce a cup run of note. They never recovered from a run of five consecutive defeats at the top of the season and fell short in several areas, notably and a goal-scorer, throughout.





Record: Pl. 16, W. 12, D. 4, L. 0, F.. A., Pts. 40

Best win: 4-1 vs Faithfold A (cup)

Biggest win: 11-1 vs Scrabble

Worst result: 4-4 vs Fairlop

Top-scorer: Nate Kashket

Star men: Nate Kashket

Games failed to score in: 0

Clean sheets: 4

Matches postponed: 3

Best signings: Dean Nyman, Alex Paraskeva

DC Verdict: Set the bar high from the off and kept their noses in front of Fairlop until the end. The title was the aim at the start of the season and under Sam Rank and Johan Simberg, the squad delivered. Nate Kashket lit up the division with some scintillating performances his brother would’ve been proud of. Alex Paraskeva also contributed in the goals department, while Dan Adelman and Dan Andrews were rock solid in defence. Midfield was driven by James Berkley and Jamie Bernstein, with stalwart Carl Dobrin enjoying his best season in the league. The goals and drive of Dean Nyman towards the back-end of the season was another crucial factor. Having finished their league season first, with points in the bag, their prayers were answers as Fairlop dropped points to ensure RJC finished as champions. Used 38 players in total, with the odd appearance from experienced B-team players ensuring they were never short. Ultimately their game-management and will to win got them over the line.



Record: Pl.16, W. 11, D. 5, L. 0, F. 34, A.18, Pts. 40

Best result: 4-4 vs Redbridge JC A

Biggest win: 5-1 vs Los Camden

Worst result: 5-1 vs SPEC FC

Top-scorer: James Jaconelli

Goals of the season: Adam Goldman, Brad Gayer

Star men: Daryl Rubin, Aaron Rosen, Brad Gayer, James Jaconelli

Games failed to score in: 1

Clean sheets: 4

Matches postponed: 2

Best signings: Harrison Grant, Aaron Rosen

DC Verdict: The title race was separated by tiny margins. Two points to be exact. The fact it was rivals Redbridge Jewish Care A made it a harder pill to swallow. Like RJC, Fairlop finished unbeaten and both matches against them were drawn. One of the smallest and most tightly-knit squads in the league oozed Premier Division quality and they cannot wait to lock horns with the big guns next season. Rock solid at the back, could probably do with a goal-scoring CAM or striker in the window.





Record: Pl. 16, W. 9, D. 6, L. 1, F.43, A.20, Pts. 33

Best result: 2-2 vs Redbridge JC A

Biggest win: 14-0 vs Scrabble

Worst result: 1-0 vs Oakwood

Top-scorer: Zac Brin, Zack Collins, Scott Oldstein

Star men: Adam Gold

Games failed to score in: 3

Clean sheets: 2

Matches postponed: 2

Best signing: Adam Gold

DC Verdict: Back in the MGBSFL with a bang. Finished third in the division and reached the semi-finals of the BGT. Adam Gold marshalled his defence superbly and was nominated by several rival clubs for Division One Team of the Season. Hard to find a weakness across the team but needed one or two players to step up and reach double figures in the goals department. Fix that and they will go places next season.




Record: Pl. 16, W. 9, D. 3, L. 4, F.36, A.26, Pts. 30

Best win: 4-2 vs Raiders (BGT final)

Biggest win: 9-0 vs Scrabble

Worst result: 7-0 vs Raiders

Top-scorer: Josh Cohen

Star men: Jamie Murray, Zack Nathan, Jordan Freeman, Jack Mattey, Tyler Smith

Games failed to score in: 7

Clean sheets: 1

Matches postponed: 3

Best signings: Josh Shack, Jack Mattey, Tyler Smith

DC Verdict: One season, one trophy. Makes good reading. A top four finish was also respectable for a young and talented team going places. Enjoyed the big stage and delivered in the BGT final. Must build the team around Josh Shack, Jack Mattey and Tyler Smith. Another team who breathed new life into the MGBSFL. Can only see them improving under new boss Sammy Kingston next season.




Record: Pl. 16, W. 6, D. 3, L. 7, F. 21, A.27, Pts. 21

Best win: 4-2 vs Jewdinese

Biggest win: 7-0 vs NL Galaxy

Worst result: 1-1 vs Bayern

Top-scorer: Aron Gale

Star men: Aron Gale, Josh Bloom, Charlie Kasler

Games failed to score in: 3

Clean sheets: 1

Matches postponed: 5

Best signing: Aron Gale, Charlie Kasler

DC Verdict: A mid-table league finish was disappointing when you consider the talent in the squad. The arrival of Charlie Kasler was a big statement of intent, but a moment of madness in the BGT final cost his team. Striker Aron Gale enjoyed an excellent campaign. Together with Scott Waissel, they became one of the most talked about partnerships in the division. The end of season report says should’ve done better.




Record: Pl.16, W. 6, D. 2, L. 8, F. 24. A. 24, Pts. 20

Best result: 1-1 vs Redbridge A

Biggest win: 5-2 vs Bayern

Worst result: 4-2 vs Jewdinese

Top-scorer: Sam Modlin

Star men: Daniel Selwyn

Games failed to score in: 2

Clean sheets: 3

Matches postponed: 5

Best signing: Zac Summerfield

DC Verdict: It was a strange old season for Oakwood B, with a mid-season managerial reshuffle and instances where some of the top players were needed for the A-team, meaning they lost more than they won. They performed well against the teams at the top but couldn’t string victories together.




Record: Pl. 18, W. 4, D. 1, L. 11, F. 26, A. 44, Pts. 13

Best win: 3-1 vs NL Galaxy

Biggest win: 6-0 vs Scrabble A

Worst result: 9-0 vs Redbridge JC A

Top-scorer: Adam Ellis

Star man: Adam Ellis

Games failed to score in: 2

Clean sheets: 1

Matches postponed: 1

Best signing: Philippe Auret

DC Verdict: Much was expected from a newly-promoted Bayern team. But they could not deliver. Adam Ellis shouldered much of the goal-scoring responsibility but the team must now plan without him after it was confirmed he will play for HMH next season.



Record: Pl.16, W. 3, D. 0, L. 13, F. 13, A.25, Pts. 9

Best result: 1-1 vs Fairlop

Biggest win: 4-1 vs Scrabble

Worst result: 3-2 vs Bayern Mincha

Top-scorer: Rob Hershkorn

Games failed to score in: 3

Clean sheets:  0

Matches postponed: 7

Best signing: Ashley Couque

DC Verdict: Forfeited almost half of their matches and lacked the squad depth to complete the season.



Record: Pl. 16, W. 0, D. 0, L. 16, F. 2, A.  53, Pts. 0

Worst result: 14-0 vs Jewdinese

Games failed to score in: 5

Clean sheets: 0

Matches postponed: 9

DC Verdict: Only managed to play seven out of 16 scheduled matches. This was probably the correct decision all things considered.





Record: Pl. 18, W. 13, D. 1, L. 4, F. 51. A. 30, Pts. 40

Best win: 4-0 at RJC B

Biggest win: 5-2 vs FC Team

Worst result: 4-3 vs Raiders Masters

Top-scorer: James Millet

Star men: James Millet, Adam Zaidman, Josh Gorb, Ashley Hirschberger

Games failed to score in: 0

Clean sheets: 4

Matches postponed: 0

Best signings: Adam Zaidman, Ben Mandel

DC Verdict: Focus, vision and energy is the motto at Hertwood Vale. Managed by Jacob Emanuel and Danny Hirschberger, they played like a well-oiled machine, with new goalkeeper Adam Zaidman helping them go to another level. They had the look and feel of champions, although two defeats against mid-table Mill Hill Dons, their arch rivals, Scrabble and Raiders Masters left them scratching their heads, as they were outstanding against the teams in and around them, with James Millet the heartbeat of the team.



Record: Pl. 18, W. 12, D. 1, L. 5, F. 36. A. 22 , Pts. 37

Best win: 8-0 vs SPEC

Biggest win: 8-0 vs SPEC

Worst result: 2-1 vs NL Raiders Masters

Top-scorer: Craig Sandford

Star men: Adam Shafron, Raanan Firmin, Craig Sandford

Games failed to score in: 2

Clean sheets: 3

Matches postponed: 3

DC Verdict: “We had seven teams pull out against us, which is a potential 21 points!” That was the rant of frustrated RJC boss Richard Bronzite who some will say lost the title on goal difference. They needed a huge swing in their final game against Mill Hill Dons, but were unable to field a team! Bronzite’s band of brothers featured a Who’s Who of MGBSFL football – they are a side littered with Maccabi League champions, many of whom could and probably should’ve been playing in a higher division. Finished with the best defensive record in the division.



Record: Pl. 18, W. 11, D.2, L. 5, F. 57. A. 55, Pts. 35

Best win: 5-1 vs Fairlop FC

Biggest win: 5-1 vs Fairlop FC

Worst result: 8-0 vs RJC B

Top-scorer: Zack Neiman

Star man: Zack Neiman

Games failed to score in: 1

Clean sheets: 0

Matches postponed: 1

Best signing: Zack Neiman

DC Verdict: SPEC FC returned to the MGBSFL amid much hype, especially with several seasoned former Raiders’ players in their ranks, notably Adam Joselyn, Danny Bloom, Mark Leader and Matt Leader. And the arrival of Zack Neiman from Redbridge Jewish Care was a real statement of intent. However, as you may have seen in the defeat against RJC B, a lack of squad depth hampered them as they dropped points when least expected. Player-manager Ricky Lawrence has a tough task ahead of him, with consistency of performance, as well as results, key going forwards.



Record: Pl. 18, W. 8, D. 2, L. 6, F. 40. A. 23, Pts. 26

Best win: 6-1 vs Hertswood Vale

Biggest win: 7-2 vs Faithfold C

Worst result: 2-1 vs Faithfold C

Top-scorer: Zach Cohen

Star men: Isaac Virchis, Zach Cohen

Games failed to score in: 1

Clean sheets: 2

Matches postponed: 0

Best signing: Isaac Virchis

DC Verdict: Had one of the best defensive records across the league but were ultimately made to pay for a sloppy start. An excellent second-half of the season saw them reach two cup semi-finals. Missed Marathon man Isaacs Virchis and goalkeeper Sam Singer in their BGT semi-final defeat against North London Galaxy but manager Brandon Hamme was delighted they showed their quality against some of the big guns.




Record: Pl. 18, W. 10, D.0, L. 8, F. 77. A. 43, Pts. 30

Best win: 6-3 vs RJC B

Biggest win: 15-0 vs Faithfold

Worst result:3-2 vs Temple Fortune

Top-scorer: Richard Salmon (league top-scorer)

Star men: Richard Salmon, David Cohen

Games failed to score in: 0

Clean sheets: 1

Matches postponed: 2

Best signing: Josh Morris

DC Verdict: Mitch Young’s troops were the top-scorers in the MGBSFL, registering 77 goals in 18 matches. The front three of Connor Perl, Salmon and Young scared the living daylight out of opponents, but they were held back by their inability to beat any of the sides above them. Although they failed to win silverware collectively, Richard Salmon finished as the league’s Golden Boot winner.



Record: Pl. 18, W. 9, D.1, L. 8, F. 49. A. 40, Pts. 28

Best result: 2-2 vs SPEC

Biggest win: 7-0 vs Faithfold C

Worst result: 4-0 vs Mill Hill Dons

Top-scorer: Benny Goldberg

Star men: Benny Goldberg, Martin Smulovitch

Games failed to score in: 5

Clean sheets: 2

Matches postponed: 0

DC Verdict: Started the season impressively before tailing off in disappointing fashion. Only mustered one win after Chanukah which ended their hopes of a top two finish.



Record: Pl. 18, W. 7, D. 1, L. 10, F. 37. A. 59, Pts. 22

Best win: 2-1 vs Hertswood Vale

Biggest win: 4-0 vs Scrabble

Worst result: 9-1 vs FC Team

Top-scorer: TBC

Star men: Jacob Kalms, Simon Cohen, Gab Stone

Games failed to score in: 2

Clean sheets: 2

Matches postponed: 1

Best signing: Danny Sherman

DC Verdict: A season of frustration for manager Simon Linden and chairman Nigel Kyte, who both felt let down at times by a lack of commitment. Always played with big hearts and the win over promoted Hertswood Vale was the highlight of their season.




Record: Pl. 5, W. 3, D. 9, L. , F. 22. A. 40, Pts. 18

Best win: 2-0 vs RJC A

Biggest win: 3-1 vs Hertswood Vale

Worst result: 1-1 vs Faithfold C

Top-scorer: Alex Bourne

Star men: Lloyd Becker, Nigel Goldthorpe, Alex Bourne

Games failed to score in: 3

Clean sheets: 2

Matches postponed: 2

Best signing: Lloyd Becker

DC Verdict: They say you can’t teach an old dog news tricks … Scrabble B disproved this theory. Away form was appalling but under boss Jon Yantin, Scrabble frustrated some of the big boys with their old-school tactics. Striker Alex Bourne was their rampaging bull, while at the back Nigel Goldthorpe took no prisoners, with Lloyd Becker pulling the strings in the middle of the park.



Record: Pl. 18, W. 4, D. 3, L. 11, F. 24. A. 44 , Pts. 15

Best win: 4-3 vs Hertswood Vale

Biggest win: 4-0 vs Faithfold C

Worst result: 9-1 vs FC Team

Top-scorer: James Cartmell

Star man: James Cartmell

Games failed to score in: 3

Clean sheets: 3

Matches postponed: 4

Best signing: Aviel Schwarz

DC Verdict: Made a solid enough start but struggled to keep pace, despite registering an excellent win over champions Vale. Player-manager James Cartmell led by example, played 16 out of 18 games and finishing top-scorer.



Record: Pl. 18, W. 1, D.2, L. 15, F. 26. A. 63, Pts.  5

Best win: 2-1 vs Dons

Biggest win: 2-1 vs Dons

Worst result: 15-0 vs FC Team

Top-scorer: JJ Marrache

Games failed to score in: 8

Clean sheets: 1

Matches postponed: 6

DC Verdict: Had a couple of wins chalked off late on for fielding ineligible players, leaving them with just a solitary triumph. Fired blanks in eight matches, which tells you they lacked a goal-poacher.

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