David Garbacz goes into Sunday’s JC Cyril Anekstein Cup final against Redbridge Jewish Care A, roaring: “We are the best team in Jewish football.”
The Hendon United Sports Club A manager believes that his troops can deny the newly-crowned league champions the double when the teams go head-to-head at the Abrahams Stadium.
Garbacz said: “We know Redbridge are not unbeatable, they are strong but we’re the better team and know we are.”
Having beaten the Hammers home and away in the league this season, Sam McCarthy’s Redbridge are in the final for the first time and the manager hopes that nerves do not play a part at Wingate & Finchley.
The east Londoners will take a big support to the Abrahams Stadium with vocal support and possibly even a drum behind one goal in the Harvey Ackerman stand.
Hendon won the competition in 2009 and were runners-up last year when they were edged out by London Maccabi Lions A. They also won their first and only MSFL title in 2007, under Lord Kestenbaum.
Sunday will be something of a family affair for Hendon who have five sets of brothers in their squad with the Kons, the Corins, the Bentleys, the Lasts and the Kormans looking to silence Redbridge’s massive travelling support.
Garbacz said: "We will go into Sundays game as underdogs with Redbridge newly-crowned league champions and full of confidence.
"However we will also take heart from the fact that we more than matched them a couple of weeks ago and with a little bit of luck the result would have been different.
"On Sunday it will be to our advantage that we have had recent experience of big Finals at Wingate and unlike in the league game when we knew we had to win this time we both start with equal ambitions.
"We expect a really tough game but I do expect it to be quite open and the crowd should be in for a treat. We have a couple of tricks up our sleeve and we are desperate not to be picking up a runners up medal again. North London vs east london it should be fun."
Redbridge have one set of brothers in their ranks although midfield dynamo Danny Hakimi faces a late fitness test on a hamstring strain.
A cup final would not be a cup final without a war of words. After watching Redbridge open the champagne in front of his team in the title-decider
Responding to Garbacz’s comments that Hendon are the top dogs in Jewish football, Redbridge striker Dean Nyman said: “If they are the best team in the country at the moment, what does that make Redbridge after beating them twice this season?”
Nyman, the matchwinner in the recent league meeting, certainly has a point. Asked for which Redbridge players he identified as a threat, Garbacz said: “All 10 outfield players. We cannot take any of the Redbridge players for granted. All are capable of turning the game.” He is not wrong.
A survey of MSFL managers makes Redbridge strong favourites with many believing that the pace and quality of Daran Bern, Dean Nyman and Steve Summers on the big Wingate pitch will be key.
Rumour has it that some Redbridge fans have already arrived in Finchley to flavour the big match atmosphere. The east Londoners have already put down their towels to book the Harvey Ackerman stand.
One RJC supporter said: "A massive RJC following is expected. It should be a cracking atmosphere."
JC team news: Hendon are without striker Avidan Last (injured) and Ari Last and Yoav Kestenbaum who are in Israel for Pesach.
For Redbridge, midfield dynamo Danny Hakimi faces a late fitness test on a hamstring strain.
Hendon squad: Russell Corin, Greg Corin, Ben Kon, Rafi Kon, Josh Bentley, Paul Bentley, Yishai Last, Dovid Korman, Josh Lipman, Martin Smulovitch, Alex Gilbert, Alex Rosenthal, Saul Conway, Avi Korman, Avidan Last. Manager: David Garbacz
Redbridge squad: Daniel Lee, Matt Davis, Ben Rosenthal, Richie Caplin, Craig Sandford, Russell Leiter, Adam Hakimi (capt), Joel Berg, Brad Frankel, James Rubin, Danny Hakimi, Ben Sollosi, Stephen Gevertz, Alex Lishak, Sam McCarthy, Daniel Sugarman, Sam Van-Gelder, Mitch Lassman, Lewis Walker, Steve Summers, Dean Nyman, Daran Bern, Adam Stolerman. Manager: Sam McCarthy, Coach: Danny Berg
JC star man: Dean Nyman (Redbridge)
DC Prediction: Redbridge JC A 2 Hendon Utd SC A 1