Daren Nathan has been appointed manager of the Team Maccabi GB under-16 Boys football squad competing at the European Maccabi Games 2015 in Berlin.
Nathan will be assisted by Ricky Lawrence and Adam Klein. All three are well-versed in domestic and international football, both in the Jewish and non-Jewish game.
Nathan has spent much of his playing career representing Brady Maccabi and also had a two-year spell at Wingate & Finchley FC. It is his managerial experience in youth football that really shines; having begun his managerial career with the London Maccabi Lions Blue Team U10’s, he and his side progressed through the age groups to be the current U16's. In that time his team has won two league titles - at U11's and U15's.
Speaking about his role, Nathan said: "The appointment is one that I accept with a great deal of humility. I have been involved in Jewish youth movements for more than 30 years and in that time it never dawned on me that I could have had this opportunity.
"To be taking a team to the first Jewish international tournament ever in Germany is something that I feel will be as emotive as it will be memorable; and an event that we will all feel honoured to be a part of."
His assistants are also heavily involved in managing and coaching. Adam Klein spent the majority of his playing days at North West Neasden in the MGBSFL, as well as London Lions, playing non-Jewish football. He has represented Team Maccabi GB at one Maccabiah Games and two Maccabi European Games as a player, which included being part of Team GB’s medal-winning Open Futsal Team in Vienna, 2011 – the first British Jewish side to do so in that competition.
His first taste of management came at the JCC Maccabi Games this year in Orange County, California, and he will be taking over as the London Maccabi Lions A U16’s manager from January 2014. Ricky Lawrence, currently player/coach of MGBSFL side SPEC, has been coaching since he was 15-years-old. He has previous experience with Team Maccabi GB, having represented British Jewry at the European Maccabi Football Trophy 2012 in Marseille.
Klein spoke about what it meant to be appointed in his role. He said: "It is a privilege to have been asked to be involved in the management side of such a prestigious Jewish tournament. Of course, the football will play a predominant role and bringing home gold is our aim, but the overall experience will be one that the players and managers will remember for a long time."
Ricky Lawrence added: "Having the opportunity to help run the Team Maccabi GB U16 Boys with Daren and Adam is a huge responsibility and an honour. I have no doubt we are going to take an extremely strong side who can challenge for a medal in Berlin.
"Although to win would be incredible, I don't think the experience for everyone involved can be under-estimated. Not a lot of people have the opportunity to represent their country in any capacity and do it in Berlin alongside other Jewish athletes is something the whole team will relish."
When discussing the selection criteria for players and his expectations for Berlin, manager Nathan said: "We will bring together a talented squad of players from across the country.
"We'll be looking for multi-disciplined players who can combine technical, physical and creative abilities to find the right balance for the Berlin 2015 Squad. Above all, we will be looking for players who will wear the Team Maccabi GB kit with pride and become ambassadors for Maccabi GB at the Games.
"For the team, it is important that the boys come together as a squad and show true pride and character representing British Jewry at the European Maccabi Games. Whilst we all want success on the pitch, our definition of success will be our team - all of us - coming back having had the experience of a lifetime."
The trial process will start in May next year with the management team going out to watch as many matches as possible throughout the remainder of the 2013/2014 season.
Applications for players for all Team Maccabi GB Football Teams can be found by visiting www.maccabigb.org/emg.