Premier Division preview: Raiders ready to rule again


Rob Richman is confident his NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A are equipped to defend their MGBSFL crown, but he claims they will find things much tougher this year and predicts a five-horse race ahead of Sunday’s kick-off.

Raiders pipped Hendon United Sports Club to the championships by five points, and Richman says his players are ready to go again after a 124-day break.

“We will aim to replicate our performances and the enjoyment from last season,” he said.

“As always it will be a fiercely contested league, one of five teams could win it, but we’ll focus on ourselves like we did last year and see how far that takes us.”

HENDON begin their campaign against Faithfold and manager David Garbacz insists that “anything less than winning the title will be considered failure”.

Having retained the Peter Morrison Trophy last season, Garbacz has bolstered his squad with Zack Lewis, Zack Collins and Sami Zerovabeli.

“We have signed three exciting youngsters, all of whom have played at Maccabiah level. They are all strong, pacy forwards and we have high hopes,” he said.

Having led Leeds Maccabi to the treble last season, Dan Kristall has joined the management set-up at OAKWOOD A Kristall, who will work with Ric Blank and Alex Schock, believes he has pulled off one of the coups of the summer in Kyle Bentwood, with Sam Cantor, Dan Seligman, Dale Bradman, Mark Korn and Jonny Blain also joining the squad.

“We feel that with the personnel that we have added and are still in the process of adding, we have an excellent chance of pushing in all competitions.”

It has also been a busy summer at REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A where new A-team manager Jon Jacobs will be looking to combine the Bs of last season with the experience of some of the A-team squad. “I think this season is all about consolidation but I will assess after the first month of fixtures,” he said.

Jacobs admits he is excited about the prospect of the three Sollosi brothers playing together and he hopes the pace and goals of Dan Garfinkle will turn them into contenders.

He said: “What I am most interested in is the growing excellence in midfield of James Berkley and how many goals Steve Summers has got in him with the younger boys able to feed him.”

HARMEN will be led by the management team of Joel Alterman, Oliver Leslie and Joe Marsh. The arrival of Adam Arnold, Alex Taylor, Nick Smith, Johnny Haik, Aviel Schwarz, Elliott Stern, Darren Stern and Max Hassle promises to thrust them into contention, with an injection of pace, power and experience.

“Last season was a rebuilding act for the club,” said Sam Castle. “We finished fourth but anything less than the championship and a cup final will be deemed a failure.”

Consolidation is the key for CAMDEN PARK , who return to the division after a year. “We were extremely fortunate to go up, said new boss Will Castle. “Now we want to prove to everyone and ourselves that we deserve to be here.”

Steven Murad is the club’s new No 1, while Yoel Deal, Rick Harris and James Brookner have come in to “address weaknesses”.

Simon Linden has drafted in Australian goalkeeper Robbie Krupski and Dovi Vogel ahead of BLIZZARD STORM'S first season in the top-flight. Linden predicts big things from Andrei Grayson who has returned after a two-year absence. Linden describes him as “one of the best centre midfielders in the league”.

MACCABI LONDON LIONS A will be looking to capitalise on a reprieve from relegation. Pre-season has been led by former Premier League star Mikele Leigertwood, and joint-boss David Pollock says the “spirit in the camp is high”.
Survival is the aim for former champs Faithfold under new boss Dan Beresford. He said: “We are going through a period of transition. Whatever happens, we just want to enjoy playing in the top division.”

FC TEAM A finished last season with a memorable win over Raiders. Boosted by the physicality of the Weisz brothers, Rob Sanford and Yoav Lebens, they will be looking to put down their marker once again.

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