After a disappointing league campaign, the MGBSFL-MMFL Invitational Trophy has given Hendon United Sports Club B some redemption. Here's how they'll line-up at Wingate & Finchley on Sunday.
JOSH LINDER (Goalkeeper) - late signing that has fitted into the team seamlessly and solved a problem position. Also signed to help keep Daniel Garfinkle settled.
YISROEL LEWIS (Centre-back) - supremely talented, supremely lazy. Notorious for the late Sunday morning pull-out with a whole range of excuses. Special thanks must go to Kosher Kingdom (7 Russell Parade, “the ultimate in kosher shopping”) for allowing him to miss work this evening!)
ALON BLITZ (Centre-back) - the hardest-working lawyer in Hendon. Hasn't been seen at training in years due to '’work commitments'’. Known to pick up an injury immediately after a costly mistake. Fortunately he has no pace to lose, but reliable in the Michael Dawson mould
ALEX NEISS (Centre-back/Central midfield) – Captain - Whole of Hendon was delighted when he moved jobs and since then there have been no 3am Sunday morning emails pulling out due to being called into work. Started the season at CM, but to his annoyance has excelled at CB. Doesn't lose a header. Spent the last week looking high and low for an armband.
MOTTY KORMAN (Central midfield) - formerly part of the famous Korman dynasty. Not the tricky and pacy winger he once was, but has developed into an excellent holding midfielder. Unfortunately missed large parts of the season due to exams, but brings an air of calm when he does play.
GIDEON BARTH (Right-side) - not a winger or a full-back, but one of those rare breed of wing-backs. Unfortunately Hendon don't play with wing backs! Has superb fitness and quick feet. Gets a lift to games from the excellent taxi service provided by the manager where they discuss tactics or lack thereof. Has been known to cast a despondent figure on occasion this season, suspicions are he is looking for improved terms on his contract. With contract expiry looming negotiations are currently at a stand-off.
MARTIN SMULOVITCH (Central midfield) - fitness that belies his years. Doesn't stop running all game and has been an excellent acquisition from the A-team. Team suffers when he is absent.
CHAIM GOTHOLD (Attacking-midfielder) - assistant manager, apparently. helps with the admin although yet to be established doing exactly what. Lost his pace and the goals have dried up, but probably the best passer in the team.
GAV NOE (Left-wing/Striker) - Very fast and very tricky but recently goals have been harder to come by than baby boys in the Noe household. Loves a moan and known to throw a strop when the going gets tough. Unplayable on his day.
AVI MARKIEWICZ (Right win) - Team mentalist. Anything, no matter how innocuous, can set him off. Has great ability and superb shot, but also loves a backheel on the edge of his own box . Invariably plays anywhere but the position he was told to.
DAVID KANTER (Centre mid) - arguably the most naturally-gifted Hendon player, but also the most unreliable. Great touch and superb range of passing, Wingate’s big pitch should suit him down to the ground.
DANIEL GARFINKLE (Striker) - the jewel in the Hendon crown. Took time to settle but has been ripping team to shreds the last few months. Probably the fastest player in Jewish football. Spends most weeknights texting his manager.
DANNY STEEL (Right-back) – Sicknote - permanently injured but regularly battles through the pain-barrier to play. Arguably Hendon’s most consistent performer. Never causes a fuss.
RA NOE – (Striker) - probably the hardest working player in the team. Blessed with incredible amounts of natural fitness and invariably scores when presented with a chance. Also an all-round nice guy.
ARYEH GOLDRING (Player-manager/left-back) – Learning on the job in his 1st year as manager. Critics say he is too nice to make the tough decisions. After a predominantly disappointing league campaign managed to oversee a strong finish to pull off the most unlikely of escapes from relegation. Broke his arm in the relegation six pointer against spec, has been using an oxygen tent since in order to make the final.
Missing in action:
LEE SIERADZKI (Centre mid) – excellent player that will be sorely missed after picking up an injury two weeks ago.
BEN WILKINSON – currently on secondment in Hong Kong, which is a shame because he is a genuine pleasure to manage.
PINTY BADDIEL – hasn’t been seen or heard from since having a baby in January.
TALI NEVIES – after months spent persuading him to stay at the club, he has proceeded to spend the whole season taking exams.
ROUTE TO WINGATE
Semi-final: bt Waldaf Town 2-0 - Daniel Garfinkle, Yisroel Lewis
Bt Scrabble 1-0 - Martin Smulovitch
Bt Brady 5-2 - Gav Noe (3), Avi Mocton, Avi Markiewicz
Lost to Faithold B 7-2 (dead-rubber due to having to play with 10 men and the majority of the squad being away for Pesach) - Alex Elf 2