Division One preview: Blancos, Raiders and Oakwood in the mix for honours

It’s out with the old and in with the new as ambitious Los Blancos begin their push for the MGBSFL Division One crown.


Joint-manager Joel Barnett, who will lead the team alongside Joel Holder, made special mention of outgoing stalwarts Joel Kutner, Jeff Grosse and Benji Israel. But he believes Daniel Sinclair, Gav Kreiger, Alex Deal, Yoel Deal, Bradley Segal, Josh Aziz, Simon Moses and Gideon Rabstein will help take the team to the next level.

Grosse said: “Simon Moses is a deadly striker whom we welcome back from China. He will strike the fear into any defence.”

Former Goalkeeper of the Year Doffman has "looked the part pre-season," although he has yet to decide on his next move after leaving Morrison winners Raiders A.

“We have brought in experience and winners and certainly the managers have installed a winning mentality in the team which has been lacking in previous years and silverware this season is considered a must.”

Division Two champions L’Equipe are aiming high once again. “We are taking a positive approach this year and our aim is to win the league,” said boss Nick Stern.

Stern has added Daniel Amram, Max Wolfson, Sam Sinclair to his title-winning squad and he is looking forward to seeing the Smith brothers – Andy and Mark – “tearing it up in another division”.

Doron Salomon and Jonathan Adelman will lead North London Raiders B into the campaign.

Richard Bloom is the latest Raider to move Stateside, while they have drafted in Ben Law, Rob Blackman and Elliot Espinoza from Scrabble. Scott Waissel returns from a year abroad. Elad Hertshten and Josh Goldstein have been promoted to NLR A.

Adelman predicts big things from Josh Green. He said: “Josh has been on fire in pre-season and Charles Braunstein will look to continue his fine form at the back again.

Jason Stein believes Oakwood B are one of a number of teams competing for second place. He tipped Raiders as “firm favourites” for the title following a major recruitment drive.

“In retirement Rob Richman has clearly cashed in his pension scheme and bankrolled Raiders B at a level not seen in this country since Chelsea signed Adrian Mutu and Juan Sebastian Veron in that heady summer of 2003,” said Stein.

“If they don’t win the league then there will need to be mass resignations at Raiders. They’re now the super horses. Everyone else is like a clean rider in the Tour de France trying to take on impossible odds. Richman has parked his luxury tanks on our lawns.

“We’re aiming to compete high up the other league. And improving the team spirit and preparation is hugely important for us this year. We’ve got to be better prepared. That means better fitness, better timing, better mental awareness of what we need to be doing. Far too many times last year the lads turned up thinking they’d win. That attitude is a disease that needs eradicating.”

Stein will work together with Yorkshireman Simon Field and he believes “capable defenders” Jordan Sherne and Henry Richmond will make chances harder to come by. Speaking about winger Daniel Taylor, Stein said: “I’m tipping him to make a big difference to the side.” Daniel Geey and Marc Hymanson have “bowed out gracefully”.

Simon Linden predicts a “tough season” ahead for Division One new boys Temple Fortune A.

He described Brett Stead as “one of the best central midfielders” across the league and will be looking to Jordan Sharifian and Eshed Rahav to “continue to write the headlines” after an exceptional first season at the club.

Celebrating their 49th anniversary, Fortune will play home matches at Silver Jubilee Park.

Ray Abrahams hopes for better luck this season following an “horrific injury list which cost us automatic promotion in the run in”.

There has been plenty of activity off the pitch as Scrabble “released several players and brought some terrific new ones whom we hope will take us to the next level by next May”.

Abrahams commented: “We had been offered a place in the top-flight but felt that we needed another season in Division One to settle in a new look squad and try and achieve automatic promotion in our own right."

The manager has big hopes for teenager Zac Summerfield and the “influential” Lorian Madanes, while “season campaigners Adam Waters, Adam Newman, Zak McLeod Josh Pugh and Dan Green will be key in helping the younger players to settle in”.

Josh Hambling will lead defending champions Redbridge B this season, with Dan Lipman assisting. Club bragging rights will be on the line when they meet newly-promoted Redbridge C on September 17.



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