Premier Division rivals ready for big MGBSFL kick-off


David Garbacz has made a dramatic U-turn on his decision to retire from Maccabi League management and he has confirmed that he will lead Hendon United Sports Club A for one final season.

Garbacz revealed his decision just four days before the start of the campaign, saying he was “helping out” the team who enjoyed a period of unprecedented success during his eight-year tenure. He guided the Reds to three consecutive Peter Morrison Trophy titles before stepping down in May.

"I've decided to come out of retirement before I even started it,” Garbacz said, joking: “The thought of spending Sunday mornings on Hampstead Heath with the wife and the dog was starting to make me wake up in cold sweats.”



Yoav Lebens has “returned to his spiritual home” while new faces include Rocky Spitzer, Josh Harris, Yehuda Korman. Ethan Zone and Ben Kon have departed.

HENDON UNITED boss Garbacz added: “The squad is looking strong with some good new signings. I would never have agreed to come back if I didn’t think we could win the league this year.”

Daniel Shafron is confident he can bring more silverware to double winners NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A

Shafron will spearhead NLR’s challenge after taking over from Rob Richman and Jonathan Green. He joined from Real Sosobad and took charge after leading Team GB at the European Maccabi Football Trophy in Spain.

"We want to emulate and build on our recent success,” said Shafron of a Raiders team yet to win the Peter Morrison Trophy.

"We know that it will be a huge task with several clubs looking to stop us from becoming champions again.

"However, I have joined NLR to help bring more silverware to the club and we are looking forward to kicking off our title defence against Redbridge on Sunday."

Shafron has been busy “adding further quality and strength in depth to freshen things up and keep competition strong”.

David Rhodes leads the team as captain in his 12th season with the club, but playmaker Ben Joseph has been ruled out through injury until 2017. The manager describes Jordan Marks and Matt Stock as “players to watch”.

REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A are focusing on the three domestic competitions this season, with manager Jon Jacobs determined to push Raiders even closer after finishing runners-up in his first season in charge.

"We aim to compete at the top table and be one of the teams in and around the top,” said Jacobs. “We are certainly good enough to beat anyone on our day , we just need to remain consistent."

Goalkeeper Dan Lee returns in goal along with the tough-tackling Sam McCarthy. “This will definitely bring passion, pace and experience as well as adding competition at the back,” Jacobs added.

The attacking options have been boosted after Dean Nyman committed for the season. Jacobs commented: “Dean’s all-round knowledge, experience and ability will definitely bring the best out of Daniel Garfinkle and my pace-to-burn front-line.

Jacobs described Daryl Rubin as a “Rolls Royce of a signing,” and added: “He hasn’t played for Redbridge since his youth days but has looked a class act in pre-season. Daryl adds to our central defensive and midfield options.”

England futsal star Russell Goldstein is another new arrival that has delighted Jacobs who called him “a one-off of a player and personality”. He explained: “Russ is definitely the loudest and funniest squad member. He will undoubtedly add skill and stamina on the wing.”

Youth comes in the shape of Nate Kashket and Jacobs is confident that his “rough diamond has huge potential and will develop as the season gathers pace”.

The acquisition of Zack Neiman from Scrabble will add versatility and he has “looked comfortable at the back and up front in pre-season and is very assured on the ball”.

Steve Summers (leg injury) and Scott Oldstein (cruciate) will miss the start of the season. Danny Berg captains the team who will play home games at Old Parkonians.

OAKWOOD A are the dark horses, with managers Dan Kristall and Ric Blank welcoming Jake Norton, Zack Collins, Thomas Prais, Louis Rawlings and Harvey Kaye.

Kristall believes the Oaks can mount a sustained title bid. “We were close last year. I believe that by the end of the season we were the best team in the league and it was our stuttering start that impacted our chances of winning the title,” he said. “We can challenge in all competitions, with a balance of youth and experience."

He described the return of captain Adam Levine as “a huge boost to the side, if we can keep him fit”. He added: “Sam Cantor could be the best player in the league, if he gets a run of games."

FC TEAM A have entered four competitions, with manager Mitch Young relishing a return to top-flight action. The yellow and blues will also appear in the London FA Intermediary Cup, with Young determined “to win every game".

With giant striker Richard Salmon leading the line, Young warned: “We are not in this division to make up the numbers and feel with our attacking quality we can score goals against anyone in the division.

"I believe this season’s competitions will be the most open they have ever been and we are training hard ready to compete.

We have upped our game from previous seasons and have made some marquee signings including goalkeeper Ed Bloom and striker Michael Pearson while Ben Binder returns.

"Having taken over the A -team again I am very much determined to win a major piece of silverware for the club.

"We have won every title in the lower leagues including the Minor Cup but now it is time for FC Team to win a big one. Good luck any team trying to deal with our strikers Salmon, Pearson and Binder."

Young was also keen to highlight the arrival of Andrei Grayson whom he believes “will become a hero bossing the midfield area.” And he described Bloom as “arguably the best goalkeeper in the league”.

Max Saunders will lead CAMDEN PARK into the new season in bullish mood after taking over from Will Castle.

He said: “Every year we start the season with a large and enthusiastic squad and by December we struggle to get 11 for a game.

"I am hoping to change that and assuming I do anything is possible. Our ambition is to win the league and why not, we have the talent."

Rob Hershkorn captains a team which Saunders described as having “strength in depth and brilliant individual talent”.

MACCABI LONDON LIONS A are determined to restore former glories with a new management set-up in place.

Oli Leslie, Joe Marsh and Joel Alterman have been drafted in after leading Harmen to a top five finish last year.

"All player business is now complete,” said Alterman. “We are all very excited by the new boys but you will have to wait and see on September 11.”

Reiss Mogilner will be the one to watch at stablemates BRADY MACCABI.

Last season’s top-scorer will be joined by Brad Dryer in a team for whom consolidation is key.

Managers Daryl Kay and Jerome Marks have added two strikers and one defender to their Division One title-winning squad at
WOODFORD WANDERERS and Marks is also targeting “consolidation”.

Excitement is building ahead of SPEC FC'S debut season in the top tier, with player-manager Ricky Lawrence still active in the market, looking to replace the influential Zack Neiman.

Manager Ricky Lawrence believes the glass is half full though and he’s told JC Sport they’ll give it their best shot to “fight bravely against relegation”.

SPEC FC vs Oakwood A
FC Team vs Hendon A
Maccabi London Lions A vs Woodford Wanderers
North London Raiders A vs Redbridge Jewish Care A

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