Hendon are good, but Brady can be even better, says Rosenfeld
BRADY Maccabi’s renaissance under Josh Rosenfeld has been quite remarkable, but he will surely see victory over Hendon as his finest moment,andatthesametimeendtheir hopes of an unprecedented treble.
This season’s JC Cyril Anekstein Cup final sees the Premier Division rivals lock horns for the second time this season, with two more games to follow. But Sunday’s meeting at Wingate & Finchley is undoubtedly the most important of them all.
Revenge will be the name of the game for a Brady team who felt hard done by whentheywerebeatenbyacontroversial strike by Avidan Last in the semi-finals of the Peter Morrison Trophy last month. Now Rosenfeld is telling his troops they have nothing to lose in the evening kickoff against the JC MSFL champions-elect.
“Weareexpectinganextremelytough challenge against an excellent Hendon side, but it’s one we are looking forward to,” said Rosenfeld who will be missing the versatile Zak Presky for the match.
“Hendon have had a sensational season to date to be in contention for the treble and credit goes to manager David Garbacz and the rest of their boys.
“We played them a few weeks ago and we know where there strengths lie, and it’s pretty much all over the park. We know if we are not all 100 per cent at our best then we will lose the game.
“Every single player needs to be at the topof theirgameif wearegoingtocome away with a victory. That can happen as I believe in my young side as we have so much potential and desire. We have shown this already on many occasions throughout the season.”
While Paul Hakim, TJ Keterman, wing wizard Josh Hershman and captain Jonny Ellis have all caught the eye, it is the emergence of the gifted Jonathan Green that poses arguably the biggest threat to Hendon. His ability to both score and create chances for his teammates has seen him develop into a top talent since his starring role in the Openfutsalsquadatlastsummer’seuropean Maccabi Games.
Rosenfeld says it has been a real team effort to reach the final. “We are not individuals, we’re a family who all work hard for each other and we want that to show on Sunday. I feel we are underdogs for the game but we’ll thrive on that.”
Brady have had the tougher cup run, beating four teams from the top two divisions along the way and, ominously for Hendon, former Wingate star Hakim has yet to register in the competition.
“It’s been a fantastic season and an incredible feat to reach our first cup final in over eight years,” commented Rosenfeld.“wewillnotgodownwithout a fight and it’s one I truly believe we can win. We can’t wait.”
Hendon have been the model of consistency under manager David Garbacz this season. Like Brady, they recruited well last summer, bringing in marquee signings Motti Colman, Ben Lauffer and Danny Kon.
The Reds have scored 18 goals in this season’s competition, with the two mostimportantstrikesconvertedbythe twinkle-toedgregcorininthesemi-final thriller against North London Raiders.
Garbacz is confident his troops will handle the pressure that comes with being the favourites. “Brady will relish having the underdog tag and no doubt, they will go into the gamesayinghowtheyhave nothing to lose,” he said. “We are under no illusions how strong they can be though if they bring out all the big guns. Whoever plays for them, though, will not change the fact that we will go into the game as favourites, but we are more than happy to have to cope with that pressure.”
Traditionally, MSFL finals at Wingate & Finchley have failed to deliverintermsof quality,withsome finalists struggling to get to grips with a combination of nerves and the big and fast-paced pitch. But as Garbacz points out, the 2011 League Cup final against double winners Redbridge Jewish Care A was a memorable contest.
“It is the showpiece occasion of the season and last season we just lost out in an absolute cracker against Red-
Semi-final – bt NL Raiders A 2-1 (AET) – Greg Corin (2) Quarter-final – Faithfold C 5-0 - Ben Kon, Josh Bentley, Rafi Kon, Avidan Last, Yoav Kestenbaum Round 3 – LM Lions B 5-1 (AET) - Greg Corin, Paul Bentley, Ben Kon (2), Danny Kon Round 2 – Glenthorne Utd A 6-0 - Ari Last (3) Danny Kon (2), Yishai Last Round 1 - Bye bridge,” he said. “I would be hoping for a similar type of game but this time with us coming out with the right result.
“I don’t think our recent experience of Wingate will count for anything. Brady have enough big players who have seen it and done it before so a big cup final will not phase them.
“We do not have a good record at Wingate - having lost our last three finals there - but we need to put that at the back of our minds and play as we have been playing all season.”
With the prospect of a three-trophy haul within touching distance for Hendon, Garbacz, who is in his third season at the helm, paid tribute to some of the key meninhisteamwhichincludesfoursets of brothers.
“Greg Corin has practically singlehandedly kept us in this competition,” he said. “His last-ditch equaliser against Raiders in the semi will live long in the memory. Expect another massive performance from Greg in the final.
“Josh Lipman is without doubt the finest defender in Jewish football today and it is criminal that he has not been rewarded with higher Maccabiah honours. Also watch out for youngsters Yoav Kestenbaum and Danny Kon.”
The secret to Hendon’s success is simple, according to Garbacz. “We have tried to play football the right way, not to give referees a hard time
Semi-final – bt Brixton A 2-0 - Josh Hershman, Josh Gordon Quarter-final – bt Southgate Harmen A 3 -1 – TJ Keterman (2), Jonathan Green Round 3 – bt Chigwell Athletic 3-1 - Josh Hershman, Jonny Ellis, Zak Presky Round 2 – bt FC Team A 4-2 - Alex Hershman (2), Mark Smith, Josh Gordon Round 1 - Bye
HENDON: Russell Corin, Josh Bentley (capt), Alex Gilbert, Paul Bentley, Josh Lipman, Martin Smulovitch, Motti Colman, Alex Rosenthal, Rafi Kon, Ben Kon, Ben Lauffer, Ari Last, Greg Corin, Yoav Kestenbaum, Avidan Last, Danny Kon, Dovid Korman. Manager: David Garbacz BRADY: Oli Colmans, Jonny Ellis (capt), Ryan Fox, Nick Smith, Adam Littas, Lee Platt, Josh Gordon, Steve Field, Josh Hershman, Jonathan Green, Paul Hakim, TJ Keterman, Danny Cohen, Jordan Grant, James Steele, Joel Lassman, Alex Hershman, Jordan Nathan, Ben Adaki. Management: Josh Rosenfeld (manager), Assistants: Simon Hakim, Jamie Klein (coach),
Joel Nathan (chairman) and to accept all decisions. We are a very united squad and it has shown in some exceptional performances.
“Winning the league has always been our priority but if we can lift a couple of cups as well it would be no less than this group of players deserve.
“At the moment it has worked wonders but everything we have achieved so far will count for nothing if we don’t finish it off with silverware.” Officials: Ref – Andy Myerson, Asst-refs – Daniel Cohen, Gary Silver, 4th official – Martin De La
Key men: Brady’s Jonathan Green and Greg Corin
Focused: Oli Colmans
Livewire: Danny Kon
Determined: Alex Gilbert
Brave: Josh Gordon