Gold and Burkeman fire Lions U11s to WFL Cup glory

Maccabi London Lions U11s capped a memorable first season of nine-a-side football by winning the WFL Cup with a 2-0 win over Protec.


The Lions began the day with a semi-final against Colney Heath Magpies. A tense opening saw a controversial penalty awarded to the Magpies midway through the first half. However, Lions keeper Daniel Ben-Yair had other ideas and made a fantastic save. If moments make football matches and tournaments, this would prove to be pivotal to the day.

From there the young Lions kicked into life and the creativity of Zac Benedick and David Banin saw the Lions come close in the first half

Colney Heath countered, but the Lions were expertly marshalled at the back by the Whiteley twins, Charlie and Ollie, and at half-time the match was goalless.

Lions stepped up a gear in the second half and they opened the scoring when the ball broke to Natan Glatt on the left-hand side. With a drop of the shoulder, he beat his man and fired high into the net from an angle to give the Lions the lead.

With Harrison Davis controlling the midfield, the Lions saw out the semi-final to set up a meeting with Protec.

This was the Lions second WFL final in consecutive seasons and as the teams lined up for the final, led out by stand-in captain Joshua Doctors, there was a sense of determination to lift the trophy again.

A good luck message from absent team captain Max Mandel gave the Lions a further spring in their step. They started the first half well and Gav Mevorah was a constant menace to the Protec defence, coming close on two occasions.

The Lions pressed the Protec goal and Ollie Whiteley showed energy and skill to create further opportunities, with Davis taking in commanding form in the centre of the park.

As the first half ended, Protec pushed the Lions hard, but Doctors and Charlie Whiteley kept them at bay with some resolute and composed defending.

The second half started at a relentless pace for the Lions and after good work from Benedick and Samuel Burkeman, the ball broke to Ethan Gold on the right-hand side. Gold had only one target in mind and having outpaced the Protec left back he fired a rocket of a shot into the top corner. It was a goal fit to grace any game and the Lions boys and their fans went crazy as they took a deserved lead

Protec pressed for an equaliser, but to no avail. As the half wore on clever play from David Banin on the left saw him pass inside to Fredi Rexhepi, who looked up and set Samuel Burkeman free with a clever diagonal pass. One on one with the keeper Burkeman calmly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper to put the Lions two nil up and to send the trophy back to Rowley Lane.

This is another remarkable achievement for this fantastic group of boys who have now added the U11 WFL League Cup to their collection of trophies.


Daniel Ben-Yair

Ollie Whiteley

Charlie Whiteley

Joshua Doctors

Max Mandel

Samuel Burkeman

Fredi Rexhepi

Ethan Gold

Gav Mevorah

Zac Benedick

David Banin

Harrison Davis

Natan Glatt

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