Maccabi GB are a goalkeeper away from completing their women's football squad ahead of next year's European Maccabi Games in Vienna.
With seven months until the big kick-off, , new players are being unearthed almost every week in a squad, affected by early withdrawals after the initial trials in July and August. The squad has soldiered on regardless, and have continued to train and develop during the last two months.
The outfield players in the squad are all of a high technical level and manager Brad Solomon believes that they are real contenders for a medal. "There is an excellent mix of youth and experience which is exciting to watch even at this early stage." says Solomon.
"The level is much higher than we've seen before and with a number of the squad representing counties and semi-professional clubs, there is a real buzz from the management team that this is a group of players who will not only perform well in Vienna, but who will also go on to medal at the next Maccabiah in 2013."
In line with the new five-year development plan for Jewish women's football, there is a greater number of 16 - 21 year olds in this year's squad, some who have been playing football since they were five.
The courage and skill these players show, mixed with the experience of tournament play that the older members of the squad have, make for dynamic training sessions, developed by Head Coach Adam Fegan.
The challenge for this squad is that without a recognised goalkeeper the squad will not get the opportunity to fulfil its potential in Vienna, and there are fears that it will have to withdraw from the competition
Solomon commented:, "The pool of Jewish female players is not a deep one and goalkeepers are rare. We hope that by highlighting the issue now, we will find someone in our community who is either playing already or perhaps used to play in goal and would like to dust down their gloves for a European Tournament."
"We are particularly keen to hear from keepers from the north of England - an area which up until this point has been under-represented in previous Maccabi squads. With a recognised goalkeeping coach attending each session, and guest professional coaches attending ad hoc sessions, this is a great time to be involved with Jewish women's football.
In the meantime the squad continue to train and will meet for the last time in 2010 in December before training picks up again in 2011. The hope is that a keeper will be found in time to gel with the squad ahead of a pre-tournament friendly being lined up for the end of February.
With just 34 weeks to go, Solomon said: "At this stage we will also consider players from other sports who feel that goalkeeping is something that both motivates them and that they feel they would excel at."
All potential players will be invited to attend trials and have some one-to-one coaching before an offer to sign up would be extended.