Mac­cabi gi­ants ready to stand up and be counted

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - CARO’S COL­UMN

THE quar­ter­fi­nals of Cyril Anek­stein Cup take cen­tre stage this week­end as MGBSFL play­ers re­turn fol­low­ing a twoweek win­ter break.

There are two stand-out ties as North Lon­don Raiders A host Har­men while Hen­don United Sports Club A plays Red­bridge Jewish Care A. I can see home ad­van­tage hold­ing the key, while the other two matches are eas­ier to pre­dict.

Hen­don’s in­jury list shows signs of eas­ing, al­though Dovi Fehler and Si­mon Peter­man will miss the big match and tal­is­man Greg Corin is doubt­ful.

Boss David Gar­bacz de­scribed the meet­ing as Hen­don’s “big­gest of the sea­son”. He said: “A win will kick-start our sea­son whereas a loss could fin­ish it off in early Jan­uary. I’m con­fi­dent our cup pedi­gree will shine through.”

Oak­wood B are miss­ing Dan Geey, Dan Ash, Dan Seligman and Dan Sel­wyn for the trip to Premier Di­vi­sion FC Team A, but man­ager Ja­son Stein be­lieves his team can spring a sur­prise.

“We’re the un­der­dogs, there is no ques­tion, but we’ve worked hard to get here and we be­lieve in our­selves,” he said.

“This is some­what of a free hit for us and we’ll go out on Sun­day, work hard for one an­other, keep it tight, try and re­duce the un­forced er­rors and give it

our best shot. I firmly be­lieve we can win this match.”

Oak­wood A are due some sil­ver­ware and I ex­pect them to have too much fire­power for Premier Di­vi­sion ri­vals Cam­den Park.

The Oaks have made a solid start and joint-man­ager Dan Kristall told me they are ready to kick on in the new year.

He said: “We have a fairly full squad to se­lect from with some late fit­ness tests over a couple of de­fend­ers and we look for­ward to what is the first of three huge games.

“We are firmly fo­cused on this week’s quar­ter-fi­nal and fully be­lieve that we have the squad to win this com­pe­ti­tion.

“Af­ter a very hard-fought and nar­row vic­tory against Cam­den a couple of months ago we’re ex­pect­ing an­other very tough test, but if our big play­ers shine we should ad­vance.”

Cam­den have been dealt a blow with news that Guy Marks has been ruled out for the rest of the sea­son with a slipped disc, but boss Will Cas­tle re­ports they have a few play­ers back from in­jury for the crunch clash.

“We gave Oak­wood a good run for their money last time out with a se­verely de­pleted team so we definitely fancy our chances of get­ting through to the next round, al­though we know Oak­wood are an ex­tremely tough test.”

It would be re­miss of me not to men­tion my award win­ners for De­cem­ber.

North Lon­don Raiders A won­der kid Os­car Wag­ner en­joyed a mem­o­rable month. He hit the tar­get three times, in­clud­ing the win­ner over arch ri­vals Hen­don United Sports Club A with a mo­ment of pure ge­nius.

David Pol­lock and Adam Klein did well to lift Mac­cabi Lon­don Li­ons up to third in the Premier Di­vi­sion, but the top man­ager ac­co­lade goes, once again, to Rob Rich­man of Raiders who have won ev­ery game in Jewish foot­ball this sea­son.

Reiss Mogilner con­tin­ues to grab the head­lines as the stand­out player in Di­vi­sion One, while Zak McLeod and El­liott Espinoza were the top per­form­ers for the all-con­quer­ing Scrab­ble FC in bot­tom tier. McLeod has won the award al­ready this sea­son so I’m giv­ing it to mid­field mae­stro Espinoza.

Sam Rank will man­age Red­bridge Jewish Care B for the rest of the sea­son fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of Ja­son Goldstein. Rank will be as­sisted by Richie Caplin. See Danny Caro’s week­end round-up at thejc.com. Email dcaro@thejc.com and/ or fol­low Danny on Twit­ter:@dj­caro

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