MACCABI GB, have named the junior football squads that will be travelling to Israel next year as part of Team GB for the 18th Maccabiah Games Chai.
The Under 16 management team of Neil Collins, Joel Nathan and Johnny Davis whittled down almost 100 applicants nationwide into a squad of 17 players.
Collins said: “The 2009 squad has been chosen based on balance and flexibility. The group has been selected for its all-round team play and is not centred on any specific individuals or clubs. It features players from many different backgrounds and includes youngsters from Glasgow Celtic and Charlton Athletic.
“The success of the squad will be determined by various factors, namely the pre-Games friendlies and training sessions, the bonding that is derived from these games, planned weekends away and probably, above all else, the ability of the squad to cope with the extreme temperature conditions they will face in Israel mid July.
“Maccabi GB have produced an extensive programme for all managers and coaches to ensure that each and every boy has the same opportunity as the next person.
“The management structure of myself, Joel Nathan, Johnny Davis and Brian Green is experienced and has the knowledge of the boys chosen to deliver.... we believe we will.”
Andy Zeller and Aron Barnes, who represent the management team for the Under 18 football squad, will leave nothing to chance in their quest for gold. They hope to improve on their creditable silver won at last year’s European Maccabi Games in Rome.
The squad includes Gregg Sulkin, the teenage actor and star of the film ‘66’, and Jake Furman, the younger brother of Glasgow Rangers footballer Dean Furman, currently on l oan at Bradford City.
Barnes said: “We have formulated a strong squad and are putting in place an intense training schedule that ensures the squad is fully prepared. It is a very exciting time for these young athletes and one that they should all be able to look back on in years to come as a lifetime highlight of theirs - both on and off the pitch.”