Time to shake all the winners by the hand


Traditionally, at this time of year, I'm inundated with requests to attend a variety of end-of-season award ceremonies. There are very few gaps in my diary over the next few weeks, but unfortunately I'm unable to accept each and every invitation.

I attended the JFS Sports Awards the other day and was blown away by the talent on show in what was a professional production. As a JFS alumni, it's all a far cry from my day, when we rarely ventured out of the concrete school yard in the name of sport.

Competition is healthy – of that there is no doubt. JFS has a plethora of starlets on its books – Maccabiah stars of the future.

It was great to catch up with long-distance runner Richard Goodman – one of the finest sportsman the school has produced – although equally disappointing to hear that he won't be competing at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Perhaps he has bigger fish to fry.

One of the most eye-catching aspects of the evening was the number of high-level female athletes the school has on its books.

● Asked for my World Cup predictions to the other day, it's hard to look past the usual suspects – Spain, Brazil and Germany. I also fancy Argentina to have a strong competition, with Belgium my dark horses.

As for England, the heart says last eight at best, but the head says oi vey. Defensively we look short, but with so many Liverpool players in the squad, impossible is nothing.

● There are two European tournaments on the horizon, with squad announcements on the way next week. First up is the European Maccabi Football Trophy, with Rowley Lane and Sport House playing host to the respective soccer and futsal competitions, with Germany and France among the competing nations.

The Jom Ha Voetbal tournament in Amsterdam takes centre stage a week later, with Adam Lustigman's experienced WHAFC squad in action.

For many, the emphasis isn't on winning; it's about enjoyment, European competition and remembering that what goes on tour, stays on tour.

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