Lions have tough­ened up, but still play foot­ball the right way

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - CARO’S COL­UMN

IT’S BEEN a week of highs and lows in the world of Jewish sport, and I’d like to start with the good news.

Lon­don Lions de­serve all the plau­dits they get fol­low­ing a mem­o­rable few days. Their suc­cess in the Herts Cen­te­nary Tro­phy was fol­lowed by lift­ing the league ti­tle. It has been a pretty fault­less cam­paign from Andy Lan­des­berg’s men who have only lost two matches all sea­son, one of those was in the FA Vase.

The ef­forts of Steve Gren­fell, Dar­ren Yar­lett and man­ager Lan­des­berg have been re­warded in some style and it was great to see Chip­per­field Corinthi­ans give them a much-de­served guard of honour be­fore kick-off on Tues­day night.

The Lions have been fit­ter, sharper and hun­grier than all their op­po­nents. Striker James Ger­sh­field has bro­ken goal-scor­ing records, while cap­tain Josh Ken­net and Austin Lip­man have been on a dif­fer­ent level. They re­ally have a spe­cial group of play­ers – a group ca­pa­ble of play­ing at a higher level.

The fa­cil­i­ties have long been in place at Row­ley Lane. Now they have a team to match them. The fu­ture looks in­cred­i­bly bright.

As a for­mer player, it’s been heart­break­ing to watch Faith­fold – the club – ca­pit­u­late. Once the bench­mark for Mac­cabi League foot­ball, they have col­lapsed faster than a deck of cards.

Chair­man Ben Lewis and B-team player-man­ager David Gar­son are now the last two founder mem­bers still in­volved with the club, who re­main the only Jewish out­fit to have lifted the Lon­don FA Sun­day In­ter­me­di­ate Cup. No one can ever take that away from them.

It’s hard to be­lieve they had four teams only a cou­ple of years ago, but they are not the only club to have suf­fered.

FC Team re­cently lost two sides, leav­ing Red­bridge Jewish Care and North Lon­don Raiders as the MGBSFL’s only rep­re­sen­ta­tives with three teams. With 30 sides left in the league, some ma­jor re­struc­tur­ing looks nec­es­sary over the sum­mer.

My lat­est MGBSFL Player of the Month award goes to one of the most un­likely can­di­dates – Lee Fe­gan.

Lee has been con­verted from a tough-tack­ling de­fender into a goal­keeper ex­traor­di­naire.

Stop­pers rarely get recog­nised for their ef­forts and achieve­ments at the best of times, but Lee has now kept five con­sec­u­tive clean sheets.

He is toast­ing a win-dou­ble af­ter se­cur­ing the Tem­ple For­tune top player ac­co­lade af­ter a real pur­ple patch be­tween the sticks.

For­tune boss Si­mon Lin­den com­mented: “Four games, four wins and four clean sheets. It’s been a fan­tas­tic month.

“Lee has been out­stand­ing – his save against Boca Jewniors at Sil­ver Jubliee Park was bril­liant, but the one he pulled off at Chase Lodge was wor­thy of Save of the Week, Month, Sea­son and ar­guably life­time of Tem­ple For­tune.

“Lee is a great char­ac­ter within the club and de­serves to en­joy his record.”

Now, if only all play­ers were as com­mit­ted …

See Danny Caro’s week­end round-up at thejc.com/mgbsfl. Email dcaro@ thejc.com and/or fol­low Danny on Twit­ter:@DjCaro

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