Camden Park have a new home, a new captain and a whole new set of goals. If they hit the ground running, Nick Kagan believes they can go places again. He runs through his through the plans for the season with Danny Caro.
Competitions entered: MSFL Division One, Peter Morrison Trophy, Cyril Anekstein Cup
Hopes for the season: This is the most talented MSFL side I have ever had the pleasure of being involved with; the competition for places will be fierce. Another promotion has to be our aim. Last season was a bit patchy: we were unplayable at times, but also had a couple of months where we turned in some frustratingly average performances. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting a stroll to the title, far from it. The league will be very competitive and we will have to consistently play to our potential. If we manage that, hopefully we’ll be in the mix at the business end of the season.
Which team/s in your division do you think pose the biggest threat? The restructuring of the league means this one is hard to predict. Harmen drop down from the prem and will hope to go straight back up, NWN have amalgamated and should have quite a strong talent pool to choose from. I have a great deal of respect for rivals from last season Hendon B and they should be there or thereabouts, we look forward to resuming hostilities with them. The Essex-based teams are always competitive. Shirley Park had an extremely impressive record in Division Three and start as a bit of an unknown. Finally, as always, everyone wants to beat Lions.
Is your squad complete or are you still looking to strengthen? Unfortunately Guy Marks has joined David Khalastchi on the treatment table and both are set to miss the majority of the season. However, the Gaffer has been busy in the transfer market over the summer and is delighted with the make-up of the squad.
Luke Brookner and Ben Harris were signed from Harmen at the back-end of the 11-12 campaign and both have been very impressive in pre-season.
Ben’s athleticism and versatility will be very important for us this year, and Luke’s ability to retain possession and eye for a pass fits perfectly with the Camden mentality.
New signings: Alex Springer has signed from Lions B to add some steel and organisation to our defence.
Max Shields arrives to add to our goalkeeping options. He’s a top talent with a lot of premiership experience and a serious desire to win.
Rob Hershkorn is back where he belongs after helping Brixton gain promotion to the premiership last season. He has the ability to be the fulcrum of any team in the MSFL and his goalscoring record speaks for itself.
Captain: Club captain Max Saunders is sidelined for at least the first couple of months of the season with a knee ligament injury and will be missed on the pitch, yet continues to be a massive presence from the sidelines. Luke Brookner will lead the team in his absence.
Ones to watch and why? Guy Fenton – after an impressive debut season, I expect Guy to step up this campaign. A rock at the back and always composed in possession.
Mike Khalastchi – expect him to have strikers in his pocket, a focussed and motivated Mike will be a great asset, and he chips in with the odd goal as well.
Jake Saunders – Player of the season last year, expect another fantastic campaign from one of the brightest young talents in Jewish football. Destined for great things.
Home ground: Ark Academy, Wembley
Sponsors: Derwent London, Oxford Hotels and Canon Estates
What will your team bring to the league this season? More free-flowing creative football, although we hope to add a bit more of a ruthless edge. Killing off teams was a problem last season, and that’s something we have to work on, as well as being tighter at the back.