Kesten­baum up for his na­tional ser­vice

Man­ager leaves Hen­don United to con­cen­trate on Mac­cabiah Games, writes DannyCaro

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport -

HEN­DON United A man­ager Jonathan Kesten­baum has stepped down to con­cen­trate on re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as man­ager of the Great Bri­tain Mac­cabiah open squad.

The move fol­lows lengthy dis­cus­sions with the Mac­cabiah foot­ball con­venor Dar­ryl Lee and the chair­man David Pin­nick.

One of the most highly re­spect and suc­cess­ful man­agers in the Jewish game, Kesten­baum said: “The Mac­cabiah Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee have en­cour­aged me to make this de­ci­sion on the ba­sis that the Games only comes round once ev­ery four years and needs to­tal fo­cus.

“It was a very dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion. But lookingatthesquad­we­have­assem­bled for GB when we met last Sun­day, I was struck by its com­po­si­tion. Seven­teen of the play­ers are ei­ther pros, ex-pros or high semi-pros. I will be mak­ing con­sid­er­able de­mands of them and they have ev­ery right to ex­pect that the man­ager will be mak­ing sim­i­lar de­mands of him­self in terms of time.

“For me per­son­ally it’s a wrench [to leave Hen­don], but to man­age the GB side in the Mac­cabiah is a rare priv­i­lege and I have been per­suaded that the right thing is to give it to­tal fo­cus.”

Mac­cabiah foot­ball con­venor Dar­ryl Lee said: “Manag­ing the Mac­cabiah foot­ball squad is a mas­sive task. It’s the blue riband event and needs 100 per cent fo­cus. The de­ci­sion to leave Hen­don was Jonathan’s alone. We com­pletely agree with his de­ci­sion and he has our full sup­port and con­fi­dence. It’s Hen­don’s loss but he’s left them in pretty good shape.”

Kesten­baum, who told his play­ers at train­ing on Tues­day, bowed out on a high with a 2-1 win over Bafana Bafana. Be­fore last sea­son, he steered the team to back-to-back ti­tles, in­clud­ing the JC MSFL Premier Divi­sion at the first at­tempt.

He also won Mac­cabi League man­ager of the year in 2007 and last sea­son helped them fin­ish run­ners-up in the league and Peter Mor­ri­son Tro­phy, and reach the semi-fi­nals of the JC League Cup.

Benji Wreschner will step up from as­sis­tant-man­ager to take the man­ager’s job at Hen­don. “I’m ex­tremely ex­cited to take on the role and am looking for­ward to the chal­lenges ahead,” he said.

“I want to thank Jonathan. He en­thused the team with great pas­sion, ded­i­ca­tion and skill and man­aged us through a pe­riod of fan­tas­tic suc­cess. We are up­set that he has left, but wish him best of luck with the Mac­cabiah.”

Hen­don chair­man Marc Lewis said: “We thank Jonathan for his con­tri­bu­tion to the team’s suc­cess and the time he put into mak­ing his team one of the most re­spected in the Premier Divi­sion.”

The JC un­der­stands Kesten­baum will lead the Mac­cabi League rep team for its Lon­don In­ter-League cam­paign. He will an­nounce his fi­nal 18-man GB squad in the new year.

PHOTO: TA­BATHA FIRE­MAN

Stock take: NW Neas­den A su­per­sub and two-goal hero Matt Stock evades a tackle in the 7-1 Premier Divi­sion win.

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