Sunday afternoon saw Alyth Belsize’s various club sides take part in JNMJFL action…
Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U10
Alyth Belsize 11 NWLJ 0
What could be better – the sun was shining, we had extra big goals, a friendly referee who understood the standard of game he was taking charge of, and we were playing the team bottom of the league.
What transpired was not so much of a game of football as a one-way procession towards the NWLJ goal. Right from the off, we were into the tackles and streaming forward, helped by the Jets only having six players. Interestingly, the referee was happy with this and actually commended us on taking a player off soon after to even up the teams – others, he said, would not have been so generous. What this did mean is that we had too many subs with everyone wanting to play as long as possible to pad their stats for the season. Thank you to all the boys who understood how difficult this is for the managers, especially to Jake Shindler for coming off at the end and Ethan Zybutz, who took his place in goal in the second half for what was actually, as per Asher Cohen in the first half, a spectator role in the main. To be fair, he did have a first-half hat trick to his name!
In truth, more passing and less dribbling might have made this an even more emphatic victory and Club Coach Ivan (choosing to come and watch on the right day) will be picking this up in training. There was so much time and space that every boy could have taken a touch, looked up and found a team mate. A little nit-picking I guess.
For the stat-minded, Ethan Zybutz scored three including a one-yard tap-in for his third when he was the nominated defender. Avi Rubinstein also scored three, one of which was a long-range effort and the third a nice link-up move with Oli Weiner, playing the role of a traditional centre forward, running the channel and then holding up the ball as the midfield arrived.
There were also goals for Jamie Isaacs (two I think as otherwise I cannot get to 11 goals), Harry Leibling-Blitz, Jonah Rose (plus numerous assists) and Oli Weiner, his first of the season. Apologies if I have missed anyone out but it is hard to multi-task. Oli’s goal was especially pleasing, not only for his dad, but also as the half-time instruction was to create a goal for him. We then tried to do the same for Asher but he had no luck, hitting the post and bar no fewer than 4 times! Their goalie was also their best player, making one save from Jake which was superb. He also had a good attitude, which cannot be easy when you are letting in double-digit scores each week.
It was very pleasing that we managed to keep a clean sheet. In the second half, the managers were silent on positioning, letting the kids work out some form of responsibility with their only instruction not to concede. They were indebted to an excellent save from Ethan in his one piece of action.
Not sure where and whom we play next but morale is a little higher after yesterday. Also the referee came up at the end not only to congratulate us but also to say that he had not refereed a nicer group of boys for a long time. He was particularly impressed with the way they did not taunt the other team and the high spirits in which they went about playing and looking after each other. A little pat on the back for us parents I think!
Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U8
Alyth Belsize Red vs NWLJ
This was most definitely not our finest moment, and if I have to be honest we deserved to lose this game. I can safely say that when we play well, we do it as a team, and when we play badly, we do that as a team too!!
The first half was a total disaster, and the only reason we managed to end on 0-0 was due to our amazing, jumping, diving, concentrating, kicking goalie Raffi Goodman. We barely managed to get the ball out of our half, let alone make any attempts at goal, and Raffi made save after save.
The second half saw the Jets score early on, but at least that got our fighting spirit back and we worked harder. We were a better team in this half, and were hungry to equalise, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. However, there were a few attempts at goal that just missed their mark, and our defence was much improved.
So what went wrong? Firstly, I think all teams and players have off days and I’m hoping we’ve had ours now….and maybe we were all a little full of doughnuts and Chanukah gelt?! We do try and put different players in different positions, some work and some don’t, so we’re learning all the time too.
I’d like all of you to think about your positioning, and how well we work when you find your space, and pass to each other up the field. When that falls apart, football becomes much harder. Goals are created by a team, not individuals.
So let’s learn by yesterday’s mistakes, and go out to our next match ready to play well again. Man of the Match absolutely has to be Raffi.
Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U8
Alyth Belsize White vs HMH Jaffa
A cold afternoon in Edgware but the team turned out very excited about the prospects of today’s game!
We started well some great tactical play and a stunning goal by Gabby Stern! Some outstanding football by the team staying in their positions very well, and with Eitan Okrent and Jamie Cohen at the back we looked strong with some great tackles and clearances. Two confident strikes by Matan Goldman and an outstanding performance by Gabby, who battled through and, despite being the only girl on the pitch, no one could keep up with her. She ended up scoring three great goals in total for the team!
Some great saves by Joni Klein in goal, and some fantastic passing and movement from Luke Godfrey. Zakary Cohen took a few shots and Beni Preter also got stuck in, while Seth Cohen with a 30-yard screamer came close!
I’m so very proud of my team and the way they celebrated at half time and also full time was a sight to remember for a long time!! Bring on the Arsenal!