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.”