Double no trouble for lethal Lions
FOOTBALL CLENCHING the oversized league shield tightly with both hands and beaming from ear to ear, Andy Landesberg saluted his players after London Lions completed the league and cup double over four magical days.
The Herts Centenary Cup was secured with a 3-0 win over Wodson Park, courtesy of goals from captain Josh Kennet (2) and Austin Lipman.
The celebrations had hardly died down before the Lions secured the Herts Senior County League’s Premier Division title with a stylish 5-0 triumph over Hatfield Social. Max Kyte (3), Adam Burchell and Charlie Rubin were the marksmen.
Kyte missed Tuesday night’s match against Chipperfield Corinthians due to a broken hand, but it did not stop his team-mates registering their 24th league win in 25 matches. Nick Landesberg, the manager’s son, opened the scoring before Lipman (2) and Burchell added the gloss. Kennet then stepped up to lift the league shield before being soaked in champagne by the jubilant Lions players.
“This season has been the culmination of something I started back in 2012 when I took over the Sunday team and went on to win the Cyril Anekstein Cup that season.
“That was a very young team, many of whom had been part of this club since they were seven years old. Today, five years later, this team has evolved into a top-quality squad that includes 12 players who have all come through the Maccabi London Lions system.
“This season is a result of three years work from all aspects of the club – the coaching, the physios and, of course, the players themselves.”
Since losing to Bovingdon – Lions’ only league defeat – in January, Landesberg’s Lions have won 11 consecutive matches in all competitions, scoring 59 goals in the process.
Landesberg said: “The squad has committed themselves 100 per this season. They have grown up and toughened up, but still play football the Lions way.
“The squad is such a tight group, they are a unit that know each other so well, work with each other, care for each other, and are a fantastic group of friends. What I have tried to instil into the group is a passion, a desire, an edge that perhaps they didn’t have. Today they have that edge.”
There now remains one target for the Lions this season – completing the treble. Landesberg commented: “Although we are very happy about what has been achieved to date, the group are completely focused on getting the last part and they know that we cannot afford to let standards drop.
“After winning again last night we showed we have some backbone and grit, that was three games in six days. Winning the Senior County Cup and also the league championship along the way, proves this squad is special.
“The one thing I will not allow us to do is switch off, any reduction in performance levels are unacceptable. If we are going to complete that treble we have to maintain a high level throughout.
“So what we have achieved to date is fantastic, but what we hope to complete will be something that sends a message to the whole community that we represent that this is a special club. A club that is and continues to produce quality players who can compete and win cups and league titles at a very decent level within the FA’s football pyramid. I have been fortunate to be part of this special journey, being supported superbly along the way by Darren Yarlett and Steve Grenfell. Maccabi London Lions is a special club, being part of it is an honour.”