FC Team B player-manager Mitch Young says confidence is high with the newly crowned Division Two champions, as they get set to take on Division One side Los Blancos in Sunday’s Barry Goldstein Trophy final.
Barry Goldstein Trophy Final:
FC Team B VS Los Blancos
KO: 6.30pm at Wingate & Finchley
Presented with the title on Sunday morning, Young says: “Having won the league, winning 14 out of 16 games and having beaten Raiders B in the semi-finals, it’s fair to say confidence is high. We know we have to perform to a very high level in order to win the match, but I have full confidence in my players that we can do this.”
Saying winning the club’s first ever double will “mean everything to the players”, he says: “The club and the players haven’t won any silverware for a number of years but now we have the taste of it we want more.”
Conceding there will be no specific game plan, but that they’ll go out to “enjoy it, play attacking football and look to score as many goals as we possibly can”, he’s also expecting a close game, saying: “Clearly playing in the division above us makes them favourties however, realistically in a cup final the favourites tag goes out the window and it will be a very even game. I’m expecting a very open game. We have not had much experience in playing Blancos over the years, but any side that can beat Redbridge B and Camden Park three times must be a great side. I think the key battles will be with both attacks and who performs best on the day. Clearly in Simon Moses they have a proven threat and with Salmon, Lorian and Ben so do we. Expect an entertaining game!
Blancos manager Jonathan Ison is hoping his side turn up on the day, saying: “We’ve proven this season we can beat anyone on our day. Big question is if we can bring our best performance to Wingate on Sunday. 2014 was disappointing, however we really picked up our performances at the turn of the year, becoming one of the most in form teams in all the leagues. We may have finished sixth, but a tight league meant we were only one win away from third, proving that next season we should be battling for promotion. Silverware would be the perfect way to end the 2014/15 season.
Also predicting a tight game, he said: “It’s bound to be a tight game between two good teams. Whilst they are in a lower division, they were clear winners and are a very similar side to the one that spent many years in the Premier Division.
“The key factor is which players adapt best to playing in a final, as it’s a first for both clubs. Playing at Wingate in front of a sizeable crowd is very different to West Hendon on a Sunday morning.”
Despite playing in a higher Division, Ison doesn’t believe that will be a factor in Sunday’s game, though concedes to not knowing too much about their opposition. “Whilst they are in a lower division, they were clear winners and are a very similar side to the one that spent many years in the Premier Division”, he says. “They have had a very good season and with a defence as tight as theirs, it must make them the favourite’s, but rest assured, we are very much up for the game and are confident that on our day, we have what it takes to be victorious.
“There’s no game plan going into the match, and we’re not fussed by them- if we play to our potential that’ll be good enough.”
MEET THE SQUADS:
FC TEAM B:
Mitchell Young (Player Manager/Chairman) – Mitch has had a good season, getting back to full fitness, chipping in with three goals which now makes his tally for the club 182! Bleeds yellow & blue
Jonathan Pearl (Assistant Manager) – Dedicated to the club and ensures all paperwork is in order. Has worked extremely hard over the past decade and is a big part of the clubs ongoing and future success.
Jonathan Breger (Captain) – One of the longest serving players at the club, a royals royce of a midfielder and the king of the drag back. Has been immense this season and long may it continue – “Breger is the Captain of our ship”
Lorian Madanes (Vice Captain) – stand out performer this season, Scored 19 goals and has around 20 assists, he has terrorised defences and is also a superb dead ball specialist.
David Grossman – Grossy has had a great season in goal, performing well in the big games. He also had 7 goals to his name as he is our regular penalty taker
Oliver Segal – Seegs is an outstanding man marker, known as the rash he has adapted brilliantly to his new position at center back and has had an excellent campaign.
Dan Silverman – Silves known by many an opponent as Edgar Davids is an experienced ball playing center back, loves starting moves from the defence, reads the game well and a master of the slide challenge
Jon Toby – JT is one of the best left backs in the MSFL however he has had to play majority of the season at center back and performed brilliantly, recently shaved his head for charity
Danny Moss – Mossy is one of the youngest members of the squad and has everything going for him, great touch, great shot, great pass, great throw just fitness can let him down which meant he has played majority of season at full back! Saying that he has had an exceptional season
Adam Rones – Ronesy, a true FC Team legend, been at the club for 10 years and has seen it all and played in every signle position, you can rely on Rones to perform no matter where you play him
Tom Miller – Tommy Gun has had to wait patiently for his chances but when he is called upon he has performed extremely well in big games, has a sweet left foot and good in possession
Jules Noti – The wisdom is back, it has taken him years to recover from a long term injury but this season he has slowly made a return and he is a real influence on and off the pitch, strong in the challenge and sees the next pass before anyone else
Daniel Breger – Dan has cemented his position in the team’s midfield, works tirelessly for 90 minutes week in week out and has been very important to balance the team this year
Richard Sternberg – Club Captain made his return from injury this season and always gives it his all. Played an important role within the squad, chipping in with some good goals, a master of late runs into the box
Andrew Sheena – A lethal finisher, right foot, left foot Sheena knows how to create that extra yard of space and can score from anywhere. Scores in every game he plays – deadly
Ben Binder – Big Ben is one of the biggest talents in Maccabi Football. He glides past players with his strength, skill and pace. Scored some great goals and been a huge influence in important games for the Team this season
Richard Salmon – Charasmatic is one word to describe Salmon, another word would be unplayable, on his day no one can cope with him. Scores 20 goals a season been a huge part of the clubs success over the past six years.
Ricky Shafier – Played the beginning part of the season and performed extremely well at full back and then moved to South London
Sam Ross – Reserve team goalkeeper, filled in when Grossman was unavailable and performed admirably
Jonny Ison (Player-Manager) – Around since the start, Ison started his trade as a player and after learning the craft from Hersh and Minsky, took the managerial reins mid way through last season, guiding Blancos to their first cup final since its creation five years ago. Scored a belter on his, and the club’s, debut in 2010. Unfortunately wasn’t a sign of things to come. LB Appearances; 62. LB Goals; 2.
Joel Minsky (Chairman/Founder/Secretary/Treasurer) – Joel is Los Blancos through and through, and if you cut him he’ll bleed white (unless he’s at The Emirates of course). He runs Los Blancos like a well-oiled machine, and we don’t know what we’d do without him (and that is not purely because he takes the kits home every week). Joel is LB’s lucky charm as the club have won every game he’s appeared in this season (one). LB Appearances; 13. LB Goals; 0.
Nick Grosse (goalkeeper) – Had big hands to fill (literally) after taking the number 1 jersey from Josh Cohen two seasons ago, but has had an excellent season between the sticks and looks to continue that form today. Today will be Nick’s last chance to keep his first clean sheet of the season – however that is purely down the club’s mantra of “we’re gonna score one more than you” than through any fault of the goalie! Mr Grosse hates nothing more than warming up before a game LB Appearances; 36. LB Goals; 0.
Alex Lewis (left-back) – After spending the opening months of the season developing his talents in Amsterdam, Lewis and his trusted left foot have returned, and it’s like he’s never been away. He’s the team’s Duracell Bunny, and, despite his appearance, is as hard as nails – evidenced when he left Benjy Israel squirming on the floor after a clash of heads earlier this season. Talking about finals, Alex is in the middle of his Uni exams and probably shouldn’t be here today. LB Appearances; 12. LB Goals; 0.
Danny Steel (right-back) – After playing 120 minutes in the quarters, he wasn’t sure he’d ever fully recover, but 1 week and a convincing semi-final performance later, he is ready and raring to go. Danny is one of the elder statesmen of the team, having spent most of his career honing his talents with Hendon. His experience and composure have come in handy during the cup run. LB Appearances; 8. LB Goals; 1.
Sam Cramer (right/left-back) – Cramer has been an incredibly solid and consistent full back for LB since joining the club last season – well, when he’s not walking around topless showing off his washboard abs. The only fault to his game is his lack of faith in the team – he booked a holiday to Marbella thinking that we had no chance of making it to Wingate. LB Appearances; 35. LB Goals; 0.
Matt Keston (right-back) – Matt has proved himself this year and turns into a better full back each game he plays. When he can be bothered to turn up, Matt brings a passion for the game along like no other, so much so that his antics have nearly got him sent off whilst on the sidelines. LB Appearances; 20. LB Goals; 0.
Joel Barnett (centre-back) – In his debut season for Blancos, Joel has become a centre back and performed his duties like a seasoned professional. Despite being convinced his best position is in midfield – Barnett’s movement to the back four has led to an upturn in LB’s form. Has been labelled the club’s worst dressed player. LB Appearances; 16. LB Goals; 0.
Benjy Israel (centre-back) – Benjy is one of Blancos’ longest serving players, has been a model of consistency over the years and his commanding presence at the back is vital. Is one of the club’s most committed players and no one ever recalls seeing him duck out of a challenge. LB Appearances; 57. LB Goals; 6.
Josh Gaon (centre/right-back/right/centre-midfield)- Our very own Rory Delap, founder of the LBLBA (Los Blancos Long Ball Association), virtually all his assists have come from throws, and what a weapon it is. It would be a disservice to talk purely about Josh’s throws, as he always puts in a solid performance, regardless of where on the pitch he is playing! Josh has been honing his skills in Bournemouth much of this season, and we look forward to having him back full time – whenever that may be! Appearances 40 Goals 9
Svi Freedman (centre-back/right/centre/left/attacking–midfield) – As is probably evident already, Svi’s main attribute is his versatility, having played in every position across the midfield, and more recently shoring up the defence at centre half. Despite not being the club’s tallest player, Svi is one of the strongest players LB have ever had in the air, adding another dimension to his game. At the time of going to print, Svi has only given himself a 35% chance of being fit for the final, having strained his ligaments during the early stages of the Quarter Final. LB Appearances; 16. LB Goals; 3.
Josh Gaon (centre/right-back/right-centre-midfield) – Our very own Rory Delap, founder of the LBLBA (Los Blancos Long Ball Association), virtually all his assists have come from throws, and what a weapon it is. It would be a disservice to talk purely about Josh’s throws, as he always puts in a solid performance, regardless of where on the pitch he is playing. Josh has been honing his skills in Bournemouth much of this season, and we look forward to having him back full time – whenever that may be. LB Appearances; 40. LB Goals; 9.
James Joseph (centre–back/attacking-midfield) – JJ has missed most the second half of the season through injury, but it is a massive boost to have him back. Always calm on the ball and winning his duels, he is a big game player. Another player who has excelled at centre back but is convinced he should be playing further forward. LB Appearances; 30. LB Goals; 4.
Darren Russell – Captain (centre-midfield) – The captain is our Mr. Motivator. He puts his all into every game and looks to get the best out of those around him too. Darren was last year’s Chairman’s Player of the Year, and his dedication to the club has been unparalleled. Not only has he not missed a single game since joining the club in 2013, Darren has chosen to get married on a Thursday to ensure it doesn’t clash with one of LB’s pre-season friendlies. LB Appearances; 44. LB Goals; 7.
Joe Davis (centre-midfield) – In Joe’s debut season, he has showcased his quality on the ball, calmness when in possession and awareness of those around him. His distribution is excellent and always looks to get the ball to feet and be an option – he is the dream teammate. He pots a ball almost as well as his more illustrious namesake. LB Appearances; 16. LB Goals; 1.
Tim Heynes (right-midfield) – Another debut season, it took a while to find Heynes’ true position, but once he went out to the wing, it was obvious that was his calling (as it gives him more time to run his hands through his hair). Before relocating to the sunnier climes of London, Tim used to be up at 5am each Sunday to travel in from Cambridge. LB Appearances; 10. LB Goals; 2.
Jeff Gross (right-midfield) – Supersub Jeff scored the stoppage time winning goal in the semi-final and what a goal it was. As one of the elders of the squad, Jeff is a great presence and always gives 110%. Jeff is Dublin born and bred, and forms 100% of the foreign contingent of the LB changing room. LB Appearances; 35. LB Goals; 3.
Adam Waters (left/centre/attacking-midfield) – Twinkle-toes Waters dances around opposing players for fun and is virtually impossible to tackle when on one of his famous mazy runs. From making just one appearance in the club’s first season (where he happened to score after dribbling half the pitch from left back), Adam has become a Blancos’ stalwart and skippered the team to a respectable mid table position in our first season in Division One last year. LB Appearances; 62. LB Goals; 17.
Joel Kutner (left-midfield/striker) – Joined the club from local rivals Blizzard Storm in 2011, and proceeded to score a hatrick against them on his debut and then another hatrick on his second game for the club. Kutner has moved from goal scorer to goal provider over the years as he’s taken to the left wing, but hasn’t lost his killer instinct when in the area. LB Appearances; 79. LB Goals; 29.
Adam Hersh (left-attacking-midfield) – Hersh has been around since the beginning, and much like Ison scored on his and the clubs debut in 2010, and had a spell as manager. Hersh is the clubs all-time top scorer with 72 goals, and his appetite for the game is only increasing as the years roll on. Hersh’s commitment can never be called into question as he’s barely missed a game since completing the treble becoming a father to triplets last January. LB Appearances; 100. LB Goals; 72.
Simon Moses (striker) – Moses, what a hero. He turned up half way through the season and transformed our luck. Struggling for goals before Simon’s arrival, but since then Blancos have not looked back. Simon has scored 28 goals in 16 appearances this season, including a hatrick of penalties in the quarter finals. Moses spent half a season with LB in 2010, which was not quite as prolific – the time away has clearly done him well! LB Appearances; 21. LB Goals; 29.