The Jewish Chronicle

The beautiful game is back


WINNING SILVERWARE, gaining promotion and avoiding relegation will be first and foremost in the minds of all 28 teams across the three MGBSFL divisions when the season resumes on Sunday morning. But more than that, the managers are just happy to get back onto the football pitch.

Borussia Barnet are the early pacesetter­s in Division One, but could see their early advantage diminish over the next few weeks, having played more games than their rivals. However, for the teams looking to stay in the division, it’s having the chance to do just that. Brook Farm Rangers manager Dan Cohen says: “The squad is buzzing to be back so first and foremost we’ll enjoy playing football. Having only played four league games, our season pretty much starts again here. Performanc­es were good, but the results not so, we need to get off the mark quickly and I’m sure we’ll get the wins and climb the table.”

Temple Fortune lost their opening five matches of the season, though manager Simon Linden says: “We’re just pleased to be able to get back to some normality.” Confident his side can address their form, he adds: “We have a tough challenge ahead after a very difficult start, but I like a challenge and believe we can dig ourselves out of the relegation spots”.

It’s tight at the top of Division Two — at least for the top two — who have both won their opening six games — Stoke Salmon and NWL Azzuri. Their closest challenger­s right now are Hampstead Ducks, whose manager Jake Summerfiel­d can’t wait for the restart. Looking for “promotion and to establish ourselves as MGBSFL stalwarts”, he says: “We’re very much looking forward to returning to the MGBSFL and do so with a renewed enthusiasm, sharpness and fitness.”

SPEC manager Ricky Lawrence is of a similar mindset, adding: “We can’t wait to get back out there and to be honest, just enjoy playing football again. We’ll also be looking for a slight improvemen­t on results!”

Redbridge are hoping to pick up from where they left off, with manager David Castle saying: “We went into lockdown in really good form, winning our last two and are looking to continue our winning streak to challenge for promotion.”

Maccabi London Lions FC Blue look the side to beat in the Premier Division having enjoyed a 100 per cent winning start which sees them enjoy a three-point lead at the top of the table. Three points separate the three sides behind them, while the bottom five sides have just seven points between them ensuring we could be set for a thrilling second half to the season.

Echoing the managers’ sentiments is League chairman David Wolff. He said: “Everybody is delighted that we can restart. I hope that everyone is up for it and that we can the season through to the end.

“We will play the Cyril Anekstein Cup in midweek and have to play league double-headers, but the league’s been enormously missed and we can’t wait to get going again.”

The squads are buzzing to be back on the playing field’


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