Landesberg: We’ll give community something to shout about
FOOTBALL ANDY Landesberg believes the professional back-room team in place will help get the best out of the Team Maccabi GB Open Football squad ahead of their push for honours at the 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel this summer.
Fresh from leading London Lions to the HSCL league-and-cup double, Landesberg will manage the 20-man squad. He will work closely with assistant-boss Nathan Kosky, who brings a wealth of experience on and off the field, having worked in the professional game with Coventry City.
They will be supported by a high-profile support team, led by coach Kevin Blackwell, the assistant-manager to Neil Warnock at Cardiff City. Blackwell has enjoyed a successful career since retiring from playing, managing at Leeds United, Sheffield United and Luton Town. His brother, Noel Blackwell of Conference side Eastleigh, will work alongside him.
The experience of former England and Arsenal physio Gary
Lewin will also be key ahead of the 16-day competition. He will be assisted by Sammy
Horne, with the focus on performance and fitness. Darren Stern has been appointed sports scientist for
Andy Landesberg the squad, a role which he performs for Millwall.
The management team have set themselves the lofty ambition of winning GB’s first gold in the event since 1961.
Landesberg said: “Our ambition was to put in place a first-class backroom team and I think that group of people supporting me and the squad would be the envy of many a professional side.
“It’s fair to say the players have responded well to this level of professionalism, and it will help us compete to our highest potential.” The squad is comprised primarily of players competing in non-league football — with many currently at London Lions — but some playing significantly higher.
Avi Korman represents the Maccabi GB Southern Football League in a fairly young squad.
The are also a number of players with experience from professional clubs and previous Maccabiah experience, including Josh Kennet, Adam Bolle and captain Mitchel Hahn. They are joined by the likes of Austin Lipman, who played up to under-21 level at Arsenal.
The Games will be extra special for Tom Smith and Ben Long, who are already playing at a high level of semiprofessional football but will have their first taste of Maccabi GB and the Maccabiah Games.
Kosky commented: “There is nothing like being selected to represent your country in the Open Age group in a sport you have competed at all your life.
“For many this is the biggest opportunity they will have on an international stage.
The Maccabiah means a lot to everyone in the group and our focus now is to deliver a great tournament.”
SQUAD: Adam Bolle, Adam Burchell, Mitch Hahn, Harry Hatchwell, Charlie Kasler, Josh Kennet, Avi Korman, Max Kyte, Nicholas Landesberg, Adam Lipman, Austin Lipman, Daniel Lipman, Ben Long, Jordan Marks, David Myers, Jordan Nathan, Jake Rinsler, Zachary Rose, Charlie Rubin, Tom Smith. Manager: Andrew Landesberg, Assistant-manager: Nathan Kosky