Israel's finest are going for gold


Small but perfectly formed. That is what Israeli sports fans are hoping following the announcement of the country's Olympic squad.

Although numbers are down from Beijing, quality rather than quantity is the name of the game this time. When I met IOC Secretary General Efraim Zinger last year, he told me of the top targets for the London Games. "Two win two medals and for a female athlete to stand on the podium," he said.

The 36 sportsmen and women have worked hard to cement their seat on the plane, and although many will arrive in the capital unknown, they are on a mission to impress and there will be no better feeling than if they can return through customs at Ben Gurion Airport with medals to declare.

* Football pundits up and down the land have been reflecting on England's Euro 2012 campaign, which ended with a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat against Italy in the quarter-finals. Many have touched on technical deficiencies and the youngsters out there must take note. I'm constantly trying to drum into my son the importance of using with both feet.

It is hard to believe that even our finest footballers struggle to string two passes together and show good touch and close control and that is why I'm delighted about the plans to push small-sided youth football matches. It's crucial to get the basics right or else we will always be playing catch-up with Europe's finest.

* Faithfold A have moved quickly to re-sign midfield general Paul Babai and Jonny Haik from North West Neasden. The dynamic duo left the Superhoops 12 months ago and will help soften the blow of losing top-scorer Mike Pearson to Lions. A midfield trio of Alex Levack, Alex Kaye and Babai is a simply mouth-watering prospect.

* I was disappointed to hear Giuliano Grazioli is no longer required by the new set-up at Barnet. A friend of our youth football, the great and good in Jewish sport hold Graz and his coaching techniques in high regard and I can't imagine he will be a jobseeker for long.

I'd also like to wish Michael Stone, the former first-team coach at Underhill, and Anthony Bloch, secretary of Blackburn Rovers, all the best after they parted company with their respective clubs.

* Jewish football recently lost a dear friend when David Price, the founder of Kinnor Football Club, passed away. I heard only good things about David, a man who built one of the finest Jewish youth football sections. It was great to see a commemorative Fair Play trophy, donated by Jason Webber, named in his honour at the Hong Kong Maccabi football awards. David Efron was the recipient.

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