Earnshaw to Israel was no Purim spiel. It’s a dream come true


When I first heard the news that Robert Earnshaw was joining Ligat Ha’Al, I thought it was some kind of wind-up. I’m sure I wasn’t alone. I mean why would a Wales international want to swap the Championship for a season in Israel?

On the surface, the term big fish in a small pond springs to mind, however it appears Jordi Cryuff really sold his vision of the club. I guess if Didier Drogba is playing in China and Thierry Henry is plying his trade in the USA, then why not? Now watch him go.

It’s a massive coup for the Israeli Premier Division and will certainly put bums on seats at the Bloomfield Stadium, and with teammate Dekel Keinan also returning to the league, it can only help raise the overall standard and profile.

One man who expects Earnshaw to prove a roaring success is Joe Jacobson. “I think it’s great,” he told me. “I grew up watching him at Cardiff and although I believe he’s still got the ability to play at a good level, I’m sure he’ll enjoy it in Israel.

"There are not many better cities to play football in than Tel Aviv where the lifestyle is great.

"He’s played in the Premier League here and has scored goals wherever he's been.

"People will have mixed feelings about going to Israel, but if it was me I'd go to Israel rather than MLS. If he can go there and prove a success I don’t see why others won’t follow his lead."

* Managers at all levels are constantly on the look-out for a good fox-in-the-box. Just ask Brendan Rogers.
Well, London Maccabi Lions appear to have unearthed a real gem in the shape of Nathan Davis. He has made a brilliant start to the season for the club’s under-13 blue team who play in the Watford Friendly League.

The youngster, who studies at Yavneh, has fired 10 goals in his last three games with three for the Mid Herts District team, another three for the Lions against Enfield Rangers and last weekend he registered a four-goal salvo against Edson Youth. A Maccabiah star in the making? Don’t bet against it.

* Having sacrificed watching Super Sunday in the comfort of my lounge, I dedicate this week’s column to the die-hard band of parents who watched their sons play in the Excel League in horrendous conditions last weekend. After spending an hour standing in torrential rain, I went on to a children’s birthday party, and had a sporting comeback of sorts.

The last 10 minutes featured a parents against kids match and with it approaching three years since my last appearance, I took it upon myself to stand in the puddle sitting in the six-yard box as no-one else was brave enough to go in goal.

With the match deep into stoppage time, I went up for a corner, with my team trailing 3-2, and as luck would have it, I scored the equaliser. With penalties looming, it was with a very heavy heart that I allowed birthday boy Sam Binke to smash home the winner with the last kick of the game.

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