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Fairlop boys here for the long haul

I have the feeling Fairlop FC’s surprise victory over Hendon United is the start of something special.

    Not many single-team clubs make a major impact in their first season but the seeds have been firmly planted, with some excellent recruitment. And captain Brad Gayer told me the club harbours big ambitions of setting up more teams in the future.

    Eyebrows were raised when Fairlop raided Redbridge to take several players from the MGBSFL’s Premier Division to form a new team in Division Two last summer, and namely Player of the Year Ryan Cole. There was always the risk that some big personalities would struggle to be motivated but nothing could be further than the truth. They have led by example and maintained high levels during their unbeaten start.

    Goalkeeper Scott Shear certainly came of age in the penalty shoot-out, while defender Max Freedman kept their cup dream alive with a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser.

    Fairlop have started the season like a house on fire. And their win over Hendon is a sign of things to come. And with Faithfold A having eliminated Redbridge A from the other cup competition, perhaps this will be the year of the underdog afterall.

    l Straw Hat Pirates manager Elliot Cukier has confirmed the arrival of the talented Jake Yudelowitz from North London Raiders. “It’s been in the pipeline for a few weeks,” said a delighted Cukier.

    “Jake has a winning history with Lions teams and has agreed to join the fantastic project we are building here. He will join our existing centre-backs in creating a rock solid defence as we look to climb the table.

    “I’ve known Jake for a long time, since his EBOR Eagles days, and have always been a great admirer of his talents. When he initially expressed an interest in joining the project, I didn’t believe he was telling the truth.

    “This is going to be a real lift for our boys, especially the less experienced players, to come and see a player of this stature and it will also put all rivals on notice that we mean business.

    “Thanks to Dan Shafron at Raiders for allowing this to happen. We have had some great performances so far and will approach Sunday’s match against Boca with an extra spring in our step.”

    l Wingate & Finchley’s Joe Sharpe has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering a ruptured ACL and torn cartilage. Sharpe tweeted: “Devastated my season is over but will come back better and stronger.”

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