Ray’s cry for help is a warning to all Maccabi League teams

The efforts of the most successful teams are regularly championed in this section. But spare a thought for the sides who have suffered double-digit defeats, something which has become a feature in the MGBSFL this season.


Scrabble FC A have been on the receiving end of a 14-0 thrashing at the hands of Jewdinese, as well as an 11-1 demolition by Redbridge Jewish Care A. And there was also a 9-0 defeat against new boys, North London Galaxy.

Manager Ray Abrahams admits it isn’t much fun for the former MGBSFL giants at the moment. And the alarm bells must be ringing.

Abrahams spoke of “recent turmoil” after a woeful start which has seen them fail to score in four out of six matches. He joked: “Our bye in the cup was the best bit of luck we’ve had in weeks.”

An “injury crisis” means Scrabble have “really been struggling to keep things going these last few weeks,” but Abrahams and club chairman Jon Yantin deserve credit for not “throwing in the towel” just yet.

Scrabble also have a Masters team in Division Two, a group of committed players, who played in the golden era of the Maccabi League, and they remain players for whom a regularly fix of 11-a-side Sunday morning Jewish football remains important, albeit it may take them a couple of days to fully recovery physically.

By and large, the league has become a case of the haves and the have-nots. Some teams have the luxury of strong XI’s plus a selection of substitutes every week, while others are struggling to put out a bare XI.

The rachmanus spirit remains alive and kicking in the league too, with Jewdinese withdrawing a player in the recent meeting with Scrabble to make it ten against ten, something Abrahams described as “a wonderful gesture”.

Surely it can’t be too much to ask 11 players willing to “run themselves into the ground,” but it appears the lure of a well-run club isn’t enough for some.

Abrahams told me it’s “getting harder to pick people up after a bad run of losses” and he is actively looking to bring in “some new faces as we look to pick up the points we badly need”.

I’ve long been an advocate of the league introducing a loan system, to ensure the single team clubs can compete on a level playing field. We recently saw goalkeeper Adam Zaidman “temporarily loaned out” to help Los Camden B before returning to Hertswood Vale.

If there are fewer players willing to commit their time and effort, that type of scenario is a win-win, which can only be good for the longevity of the league.

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