I’ll still have something to write home about


Excitement and anticipation are what Maccabiah athletes and their families are feeling, and rightly so. However, I am not sharing those emotions as a semi-expected late call-up for the cricket squad never materialised.

Having spent much of the past seven months in the gym and, more recently, in good nick with the bat, I was hopeful, bearing in mind that the squad has been hit by withdrawals and I was part of the squad that won bronze in 2005. But it hasn’t happened so I must now focus on producing medal-winning reporting from Israel.

I can’t help thinking what might have been. At 36, the chances are that I will remain a one Maccabiah hit, something that seemed improbable 18 years ago. As one of the most prolific batsmen in Jewish cricket, this fills me with great sadness.

A heart-to-heart with London Maccabi Vale teammates Aviel Schwarz, who has been five times as a footballer, helped me see the light, so I won’t wallow in self pity for any longer.

Admittedly, part of me is looking forward to taking on the Games in a different capacity. Rather than delivering runs, I will bring you daily updates, reports and blogs, working around the clock. As the official journalist of the GB squad, I will endeavour to cover as many events as is possible and also suggest you read the blog of ladies footballer Judith Addleson.

Team GB cricketer Richard Black had a day to remember after acting as chaperone for 2008 IPL winners the Rajasthan Royals at Shenley.

I can’t believe the depths my wife, Donna, will go to get me to do some housework. Last weekend she was struck by a virus. Thinking it might be swine flu, I pulled out my finger, made the beds, did all the washing up and gave her some TLC.

Wingate & Finchley will face Bicester Town or Dunstable Town in the preliminary round of the FA Cup. The Blues face another away tie in the FA Trophy preliminaries when they take on Sittingbourne.

Double winners North West Neasden A have been busy in the transfer window. Maccabiah striker James Gershfield, former South Manx A keeper Max Shields and Manchester Maccabi’s Kyle Bentwood have joined Midfielder Ricky Kennet has returned to London Maccabi Lions A to link up with his father Eilon. Striker Adam Stolerman is joining Redbridge United while attacking midfielder Ben Forman has also departed.

Central defender Johnny Ellis has been appointed captain for the forthcoming season. Joint-manager Jamie Cole said: “Daniel Fox and I really believe John has grown in character over the past few seasons. He is a good communicator and I know he will enjoy the responsibility. His experience will be invaluable as we defend our trophies next season and go one step further in the Sunday Challenge Cup and the Amateur FA Cup.

“I would like to thank Lee Cash, who has been a fantastic leader both on and off the pitch and will continue to play a huge role in Neasden future successes.”

Neasden trainer Darren Yarlett has doubled his workload after accepting an offer to join the coaching staff at London Lions.

Jewventus have been granted permission to play in the JC MSFL from next season. Managed by Nick Bick, the team, kitted out in black and white, will play home matches at Chase Lodge.

Midfield maestro Gabriel John said: “Title ambitions are high and I believe Chigwell C will be our main rivals.”

Look out for a new book co-written by cricket enthusiasts Zaki Cooper and Daniel Lightman. On sale later this summer, Cricket Grounds from the Air features “stunning aerial photos demonstrating the sheer range and beauty of county cricket grounds in England and Wales, and the grounds are brought to life by the fascinating recollections of present and past players as well as by descriptions of the grounds’ history and development”.

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