Dou­ble no trou­ble for lethal Lions

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The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY DANNY CARO

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.”


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