Delmonte ready to put squeeze on Faith­fold


FOOT­BALL STU­ART Delmonte is con­fi­dent his new-look AFC Flix­ton side can put last sea­son’s cup fi­nal heart­break be­hind them and go all the way in the Peter Mor­ri­son Tro­phy.

Flix­ton are well-placed to de­fend their Ac­coun­tants League Premier Di­vi­sion ti­tle, but joint-man­ager Delmonte is crav­ing suc­cess in the Na­tional cup com­pe­ti­tion. He and Tony Rosen­berg steered Manch­ester Mac­cabi to the ti­tle in 2011 but they were beaten at the fi­nal hur­dle by Hen­don United in May.

Flix­ton have joined forces with MJSL side Oakhill Li­ons in the Mor­ri­son to bol­ster their ranks as they fea­ture sev­eral non-Jewish play­ers for league matches.

Ahead of the trip to strug­gling Faith­fold A, Delmonte said: “We are look­ing for­ward to the game but we won’t be favourites as we have lost some big play­ers this sea­son. That makes our task dif­fi­cult.

“We have two or three of Oakhill’s play­ers com­ing with us. They train with us on a Wed­nes­day so we know about t hem and what they can bring.

“I d o n ’ t k n o w t o o much about Faith­fold but I ex­pect them t o b e har d - work­ing and strong in de­fence.

“The Mor­ri­son com­pe­ti­tion is im­por­tant to the play­ers and as a club of course. We want to progress and per­form.”

South Manch­ester are an­other side trav­el­ling to Lon­don this week­end. Man­ager Neil Collins has chal­lenged his team, ly­ing fifth in the Ac­coun­tants League, to give the long-serv­ing Mark Ste­wart the per­fect send-off in his fi­nal sea­son.

B u t P r e mier Di­vi­sion top­scorer J ames G e r s h f i e l d stands in their way as Har­men look to reach round four.

Collins said: “We came to Lon­don last year to play Raiders and matched them over 90 min­utes.

“We are un­der­dogs again, but this suits our South side.

“We know some of their play­ers, in­clud­ing James Ger­sh­field, but we have a player of the Mac­cabiah 2013 in our ranks too in Mark Ste­wart.

“Mark has never won the Mor­ri­son, and this year the lads will play for him — it will top off his fan­tas­tic ama­teur Jewish ca­reer.

“The pres­sure is very much on Har­men, any re­sult is a plus.”

Har­men are still with­out Bradley Sharp as he be­gins phys­io­ther­apy af­ter dis­lo­cat­ing his shoul­der, while Jake Got­tlieb re­lo­cated to Sin­ga­pore this week. Dar­ren Stern is an­other no­table ab­sen­tee.

Har­men­joint-man­agerJoelAl­ter­man said: “It’s al­ways good to test our­selves against new faces but equally dif­fi­cult in our prepa­ra­tions as we do not know too much about our op­po­nents who seem to stay un­der the radar in their league. “This is one fix­ture that no one wants to lose. One of our tar­gets is to get our hands on this tro­phy and this is just one of the tough tests that we will face along the way.”

Manch­ester Macc a b i h a v e h o me ad­van­tage for the visit of MGBSFL Premier Di­vi­sion lead­ers Red­bridge Jewish Care. Greg Louca’s side have per­formed strongly in the Ac­coun­tants first di­vi­sion but he be­lieves his side will be un­der­dogs against the Es­sex club.

A Mac­cabi spokesman said: “We are look­ing for­ward to test­ing our­selves against Red­bridge A. “They are clearly a very strong team as their league f orm shows. “We will be un­der­dogs but it will in­ter­est­ing to see what team they bring.”

James Ger­sh­field

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