It will be Spec-tacular

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport -

SIX NEW teams have joined the Mac­cabi League for sea­son 2011/12. Here we get the low-down on the 10 par­tic­i­pat­ing teams in Divi­sion Four.

SPEC

Ex­pect SPEC to be the real deal this sea­son. That is the view of Lau­rence Conway, the team man­ager. They have also en­tered the Lon­don Sun­day Ju­nior Cup, Peter Mor­ri­son Tro­phy and the JC Cyril Anek­stein Cup, and they hope to com­plete a busy sched­ule by en­ter­ing the JC Barry Gold­stein Cup in the spring.

Cap­tained by Ash­ley Burns, club sec­re­tary and mid­field mae­stro Ricky Lawrence said: “Our hopes are to end the sea­son as cham­pi­ons. We re­alise that it’s go­ing to be ex­tremely dif­fi­cult but if we weren’t at least chal­leng­ing at the top, we would con­sider the sea­son a fail­ure.”

The team will look to bring a “whole new level of team spirit to the l e a g u e ” , w i t h a n abun­dance o f g o a l s f r o m Da n C o h e n . A t t h e b a c k , Doug Ber­lin is known as the wall and the goal­less draw in a re­cent pre­sea­son friendly against North Lon­don Raiders B proves that they mean busi­ness.

With a squad aged 22-27, SPEC repli­cated the re­cruit­ment pol­icy of Manch­ester Unite d , d o i n g t h e i r busi­ness early in the trans­fer win­dow.

S p o n s o r e d by Cin­derella Hair and El­mar Print­ers, ev­ery­one con­nected to the club are rel­ish­ing the chance of putting SPEC back on the map.

ATH­LETIC BILBAUM

The Bilbaum boys have a bold aim for the cam­paign. “To rev­o­lu­tionise the way the Jewish game is played,” ac­cord­ing to boss Mark Pasha.

He be­lieves that the team can light up the divi­sion. “De­spite the re­ces­sion and wide­spread bal­ance sheet delever­ag­ing, the club has nonethe­less gone ahead with the pro­posed sta­dium ex­pan­sion, tak­ing the ca­pac­ity of the Bernebaum to a whop­ping seven seats,” he said.

“Vis­it­ing teams should ex­pect elec­tric Sun­day morn­ing at­mos­pheres and deaf­en­ing crowds as they make the ar­du­ous trip to the far flung cor­ner of Hamp­stead Heath.”

The only club with a mas­cot - Baum Baum the Ele­phant - Bilbaum, who are spon­sored by Ma­gen David Adom UK, have made sev­eral sign­ings with a “par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on strength­en­ing the back-line to im­prove what was a mis­er­able goals scored to con­ceded ra­tio last sea­son”.

The po­si­tion of team cap­tain re­mains up for grabs. Pasha con­firmed that “the role will be de­cided at the An­nual Bilbaum Dough­nut Eat­ing Con­test, to be held on Au­gust 29”. In­deed Josh Ejdel­baum, the club’s for­mer man­ager, is the book­ies’ favourite but he will have to fend off fierce competition from hit­man Ed Green and Andrew ‘Dog’ Fenichel if he is to win the cov­eted prize.

BRADY MAC­CABI B

Any­thing less than a top two fin­ish will come as a dis­ap­point­ment to Josh Dagul, man­ager of new­com­ers Brady Mac­cabi B.

They come with the prom­ise of a team who “tries to keep the ball on the floor and play some good at­tack­ing foot­ball”. With skip­per James Joseph look­ing to lead by ex­am­ple, they are packed with lead­ers in the shape of Oll i e Kay, Jonny Meltzer, Ben Hilde­brand and Sam Frohlich, J a m e s J o s e p h a n d M i k e B e a - b e r are de­scribed as the ‘ones to watch’ while Dan Korn is the out­stand­ing young­ster in their squad. Based at Row­ley Lane, and spon­sored by Im­pex Rus­sell Ltd - Light­ing Spe­cial­ists, the team will fea­ture a sprin­kling of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers.

FC TEAM C

Michael My­ers spear­heads the chal­lenge of The am­bi­tious and grow­ing club are tar­get­ing pro­mo­tion and a tal­ented squad will be look­ing to play “good, pos­ses­sion foot­ball with flair”.

My­ers be­lieves that the divi­sion will be “open” al­though he is un­sure where the main chal­lenge will come from.

Goals are guar­an­teed from the team that player-man­ager My­ers has packed with univer­sity grad­u­ates.

The for­mer Manch­ester Mac­cabi cap­tain de­scribes F C Te a m C , who will play home­matches at Hatch End play­ing f i e l d s , a s “tal­ented, am­bi­tious and enig­matic”.

A s k e d where t he ti­tle will go, My­ers said: “ I t hi nk a l l the teams are talk­ing up their chances for pro­mo­tion. Our fo­cus will be on bring­ing flair to the divi­sion as we have a highly tal­ented squad and the team wants to play good pos­ses­sion foot­ball.”

NORTH LON­DON RAIDERS C

With Josh Graham cap­tain­ing the team, Shorts has tipped SPEC to be “there or there­abouts come the end of the sea­son”.

The man­ager has high hopes for James Franks, a player he likens to “Chris Iwelumo mi­nus miss­ing the oc­ca­sional open goal”.

Big things are pre­dicted f r om Toby Katz. Shorts said: “He came on leaps and bounds last year and is my tip for Young Player of the Year. “He re­minds me of a young Perry Groves;

the Gin­ger Ma­gi­cian.”

TEM­PLE FOR­TUNE B

BOCA JEWNIORS

This could be a big sea­son for the Raiders, ac­cor­ing to man­ager Oli Shorts. Re­cently ap­pointed the league’s Pub­lic­ity Lia­son of­fi­cer, Shorts has opted against en­ter­ing this sea­son’s Jewish FA Cup.

Work­ing to­gether with his as­sis­tant Rich Abra­hams, pro­mo­tion is the name of the game this sea­son as the team re­turns to their tra­di­tional orange colours.

“As Arsene Wenger would say, ‘hav­ing a fit Matt Greene for the start of the sea­son is like a new sign­ing,” said Shorts.

“Jonny Skol­nick, Matt Ke­ston, Michael Is­rael, Ben Hart and Sam Morell have all joined and we’re hop­ing Rob Sa­muel­son will come in as well. Led by player-man­ager Terry Jef­fries, who will be work-ing a l ong­side a s s i s t a nt Adam Glekin, For­tune have a blend of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence as they look f o r

c o n - s i s t - ency of re­sults in their sec­ond sea­son back in the league.

Last sea­son, they lost nine matches by a soli­tary goal, in­clud­ing five by just 1-0 mar­gins, and they will be look­ing to “hold their own in the divi­sion and do much, much bet­ter than the last cam­paign,” ac­cord­ing to chair­man Nigel Kyte.

The prom­ise of putting out “a com­pet­i­tive and hard-work­ing team that never gives” will make the them worth watch­ing ac­cord­ing to Kyte, who pre­dicts that the side will “sur­prise a few teams”.

Jef­fries, last sea­son’s top-scorer, will look to the ex­pe­ri­enced fig­ures of Garry Simp­son and Si­mon Allen as key men on the pitch.

Kyte said: “Both have the at­tributes to lead the team, hav­ing done the job for the our A team on many oc­ca­sions in the past.

The club chair­man was un­able to pin­point a favourite to win the ti­tle. “It’s al­ways hard to say in the low­est divi­sion when there are a num­ber of new teams com­ing in,” he said. “They could be world-beat­ers who dom­i­nate from the start or to­tal mis­fits who strug­gle to get off the mark - who can say?”

Un­like some of their ri­vals, For­tune were keen to avoid pick­ing out star play­ers.

“We pre­fer not to sin­gle out any­one in par­tic­u­lar – as the old adage says, it’s a team game and we play as a team with no stars. The pri­or­ity is to re­main com­pet­i­tive.”

For­tune have found them­selves a new home ground in Wel­wyn Gar­den City. As Kyte ex­plains: “Hav­ing spent one sea­son in the mud at Hatch End Play­ing Fields, the Sec­onds will be host­ing most home league fix­tures at Gosling Sports Park.

For­tune, spon­sored by Bekhors, has a proud tra­di­tion in the Mac­cabi League. “We’re a well run and friendly club with a long his­tory – 42-year­sold and still go­ing strong.

“This Club has an affin­ity for Mac­cabi foot­ball and we are proud to be tak­ing part for the 36th con­sec­u­tive cam­paign, longer than any cur­rent team. We’ve had many ups and downs with the League over the years but at the mo­ment, things couldn’t be bet­ter so we are very pro-MSFL.” Boca Jewniors are an­other new team in the MSFL this sea­son. Run by chair­man Sefton Monk, the team is aim­ing to push for pro­mo­tion in their first sea­son.

The club held tri­als at the be­gin­ning of June and have put to­gether a strong squad. P l a y i n g a t Meadow Park i n B o r e - ham­wood, Far­rell Monk and head coach Jamie Wein­rich are con­fi­dent of a strong show­ing.

JEWVENTUS

A top three fin­ish is the aim of Jew

man­ager Gabriel John. With high hopes for record scorer Richard Fo­gel­man, John said: “It looks as though we’ll have a small but se­lect side ca­pa­ble of beat­ing any­one on our day. “Richard will al­ways be our main threat, though the squad is full of big strong sea­soned cam­paign­ers.” New­com­ers Ath­letic and Brix­ton Old have kept their cards close to their chest in terms of plans for

t h e sea­son.

Richard Fo­gel­man

ven­tus Finch­ley Boys B

Key man: Raiders’ Matt Greene ( right)

SPEC’s Ricky Lawrence

FC Team C.

Gabriel John

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