We’re rested and ready to rum­ble, says Blank

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport - BYDANNYCARO

WHILST Ric Blank con­cedes his team starts Sun­day’s cup final as ma­jor un­der­dogs, the Oak­wood man­ager be­lieves he has the weapons to up­set the odds and win the big­gest prize in Jewish foot­ball - the Peter Mor­ri­son Tro­phy.

The Oaks have en­joyed a fairy­tale sea­son and they will be look­ing to fin­ish it in style and stop Hen­don United Sports Club A from com­plet­ing a cup dou­ble at Win­gate & Finch­ley.

To­gether with Alex Schock, Blank is con­fi­dent that the newly-crowned JC MSFL Di­vi­sion One cham­pi­ons will not let the oc­ca­sion get to them in their first ap­pear­ance in the Jewish FA Cup final.

“Ob­vi­ously Hen­don are huge favourites for the final,” said Blank, “I’ve seen themplayand­have­been­very­im­pressed. It’s been pointed out to me count­less times how big the pitch is and how that will suit Hen­don down to the ground.

“They’re a fit side and we’re a Di­vi­sion One side and, with all due re­spect to pre­vi­ous op­po­nents, we haven’t played a team with Hen­don’s cre­den­tials. We’re just de­lighted to be part of such a great oc­ca­sio­n­andthe­boysare­de­ter­minedto en­joy them­selves.”

With the ma­jor­ity of the squad born in Manch­ester, Blank is con­fi­dent that his team will push Hen­don all the way on Sun­day, de­spite not hav­ing played a com­pet­i­tive game since the start of the month. He said: “This sea­son has seen the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of ex­pe­ri­ence, t a l e n t a n d d e t e r mi n a - tion re­sult in us win­ning the di­vi­sion com­fort­ably.”

“Iknow­someof their­play­ersvery­well and it’s a great test for our­selves with next sea­son in mind. We will be play­ing teamsof Hen­don’squal­i­ty­weekin,week out­soit’sagreatop­por­tu­ni­ty­tosee­what we’re ca­pa­ble of.”

Cap­tain Adam Levine, winger Bradley Wine and Ja­son Lind­say have been amongthe star perf o r m - e r s i n league and cup this sea­son, while Blank de­scribes striker Ian Tussie as the “Matt Le Tissier of Oak­wood”.

With one tro­phy al­ready in the bag, Hen­don hope to be­come only the sec­ond team in MSFL his­tory to com­plete the tre­ble – Glen­thorne United en­joyed a clean sweep in sea­son 1988/89.

The Reds look set to be at full-strength for the crunch clash with de­fender Paul Bent­ley trav­el­ling from New York to play, as is right-back Motti Col­man, hav­ing only re­cently done Aliyah. Keeper Rus­sell Corin and striker Ben Kon hope to pass a late fit­ness tests.

Man­ager David Gar­bacz is con­fi­dent his troops can han­dle the weight of ex­pec­ta­tion. “The whole squad is still buzzing with ex­cite­ment fol­low­ing last week’s su­perb Anek­stein Cup vic­tory. It was such a re­lief to end our re­cent Win­gate jinx and the boys thor­oughly de­served their vic­tory.

“It will clearly be a case of not go­ing into this match over-con­fi­dent or ar­ro­gant and to keep our feet firmly on the ground. They will have thought of noth­ing else for weeks and will be in­cred­i­bly well-pre­pared for the oc­ca­sion.

“We are on the brink of an amaz­ing achieve­ment this year and we go into this match with enor­mous con­fi­dence and self-be­lief – I reckon we would quite fancy our chances against Manch­ester United at the mo­ment the way some of these play­ers are feel­ing.”

PHO­TOS: MARC MOR­RIS

Greg Corin, Ari Last and Josh Bent­ley are aim­ing to com­plete a cup dou­ble

Oak­wood’s Ric Blank and Alex Schock

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