Kestenbaum calls up the big guns
TEAM GB is to name a provisional 23-man open football squad for next year’s 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel, we can reveal.
Manager Jonathan Kestenbaum, together with his coaching team of Michael Stone and Ben Winston, will reduce the squad to 18 players with five non-travelling reserves working as a unit for the first get-together in November.
And it promises to be one of the strongest squads to represent Britain for many years.
Six members of the GB squad won took bronze at the European Games in Rome, James Gershfield, Ben Grossman, Matt Davis, Matt Stock, Lee Cash and Michael Sacks, remain in contention. Sacks is one of six players with experience of playing at a professional club.
The former Manchester United academy player is joined by Mitch Hahn (Southend), Jonathan Kurrant (Charlton), Sam Sloma (Wimbledon), Josh Kennet (Oxford United) and Michael Warwick (Stoke City).
Kestenbaum said: “It is a powerful blend of professionals, semi-professionals and some MSFL players.
“We are very satisfied with the selection. At the same time we are under no illusion.
“The USA team which reached the final at the last Maccabiah contained three players who went on to play in the World Cup. The standard will be exceptionally high.
“One thing is clear, however, right across the squad — we have selected 23 quality players who all understand the significance of the tournament, are proud to be going and will be preparing hard for the challenge.”
Sam Sloma is one of six players who have pro club experience