Gunners fan has new goal: a Jewish five-a-side league in North London

Pandemic permitting, Jack Josephs hopes for March kick-off


Arsenal fan Jack Josephs has additional reason to hope the lockdown is eased in March, as it will allow the kick-off of a North London Jewish five-a-side league he has founded.

The 23-year-old industrial economics graduate believes the JLeague will fill a gap in the market. Thirteen men’s teams have already signed up and getting on for 20 women have expressed interest.

His plan is for men’s, masters (35-plus), junior and youth tournaments and women’s sessions, all officiated by FA-accredited referees. Men’s games will take place on Thursday evenings on Wingate & Finchley’s 3G pitches.

Mr Josephs, who has played in Jewish leagues since the age of six, said his competition would offer an alternative to 11-a-side Sunday football. “It’s during the week; it’s small-sided; it’s not as time consuming.

“I play five-a-side and always see so many Jewish players and Jewish games. Why not bring everyone together?

“Especially given the lockdown right now, the fact that people are still committing is just amazing.”

The Woodside Park Synagogue member was also heartened by the response from women, whose sessions will evolve based on numbers and other factors —the registration form includes a survey.

“A lot of them want to play football but don’t really have anywhere to play and no one to play with. So we want to give them that experience.”

Wider goals were to increase participation in Jewish football and “bring the community closer together”.

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