Lan­des­berg’s tre­ble vi­sion

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY DANNY CARO

FOOT­BALL ANDY Lan­des­berg is con­fi­dent Lon­don Lions will se­cure their first piece of silverware of the sea­son ahead of their Herts Cen­te­nary Cup fi­nal show­down against Wod­son Park.

The Lions, who re­main on course for the tre­ble, re­quire three points from their last seven matches to clinch the HSCL Premier Di­vi­sion ti­tle – they face Hat­field So­cial three days after the fi­nal.

But Lan­des­berg’s im­me­di­ate fo­cus is on next Wednes­day’s show­piece match at Cheshunt FC.

He com­mented: “I am ab­so­lutely de­lighted with the way the sea­son has gone so far. I say so far be­cause although we are in a fan­tas­tic po­si­tion to win a po­ten­tial tre­ble, we have at this mo­ment won noth­ing. It is a mes­sage I give to the play­ers be­fore ev­ery sin­gle game.”

Striker James Ger­sh­field is on course to break the league’s goal-scor­ing record, with more than 40 goals al­ready to his name, but Lan­des­berg in­sists it has been a team ef­fort.

“The truth is this is not a one-man team, far from it,” said Lan­des­berg. “The to­tal team ethic has been in­stru­men­tal in de­liv­er­ing per­for­mances that have been su­perb.

“Goal­keep­ers David Myers and Jake Lewis have been out­stand­ing. Along with a de­fence that is the mean­est in the league. This is a team and that is what has been our strength.”

Lan­des­berg says he is not sur­prised by the team’s suc­cess so far this sea­son — they have lost just once since Septem­ber in all com­pe­ti­tions. “I have worked so hard to cre­ate this one-team en­vi­ron­ment over three sea­sons,” he said.

“I have a fan­tas­tic re­la­tion­ship with all the play­ers. I treat them like we are a fam­ily. There is no room for in­di­vid­u­als in this group. This is one team, one fam­ily.

“Be­tween Dar­ren Yar­lett, Steve Gren­fell and my­self, we have cre­ated this spe­cial blend. We all have our strengths and weak­nesses, and we know what to do and how to use them.

“So there are no sur­prises when you put in the work and time we have all done, es­pe­cially over the last two sea­sons.”

In reach­ing the fi­nal, Lions crushed Cuf­fley 6-2 in the open­ing round, fol­lowed by a 4-2 rout­ing of Letch­worth Gar­den City Ea­gles. But it was the 5-0 win over cup hold­ers Bishop’s Stort­ford Swifts that pleased Lan­des­berg the most. “They had ob­vi­ously been told that if you rough Lions up early on they will roll over, that’s not what we are all about any more,” said Lan­des­berg. “The only team that rolled over was Swifts.”

Lan­des­berg de­scribes fi­nal­ists Wod­son Park of the Spar­tan South Mid­lands Di­vi­sion One as a “de­cent and strong side, strong with a squad of very ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers”.

He said: “We’ve watched them twice and I ex­pect it to be a phys­i­cal bat­tle that we need to over­come first, and then we will play with the same style, pas­sion and com­mit­ment that we have played with all sea­son.

“We know it won’t be easy, but we are there for one rea­son and that is to bring the tro­phy back to Row­ley Lane.

“A fi­nal is never just an­other game,” added Lan­des­berg. “It is al­ways spe­cial and it is a chance for the boys to chal­lenge them­selves against a team from a higher league. We have the qual­ity and de­sire to de­liver the re­sult the club and the com­mu­nity are look­ing for.”

There is no room for in­di­vid­u­als in this group

PHO­TOS: MARC MOR­RIS

Max Kyte is con­grat­u­lated by his team-mates after reg­is­ter­ing in the 3-0 win over Bushey

Andy Lan­des­berg

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