Hendon manager David Garbacz believes his side are “the greatest Jewish team of all time” after he saw them clinch an historic second treble on Sunday morning.
Hendon United A 8 London Maccabi Lions Blue 0
Sunday, 25 May, 2014
(VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS TO FOLLOW…)
Needing to avoid a heavy defeat against the Lions to wrap up the Premier Division title, they instead inflicted one as seven second-half goals saw them to an emphatic victory.
And believing they should go down in the record books as one of the finest to ever grace the Jewish game, he said: “There was a debate a couple of seasons ago when we won our first treble if any other Jewish team had ever won it before. Then Glenthorne seemed to appear from the 1950’s, but no one can take away the fact that we are certainly the first team to do it twice and to do it in invincible fashion I don’t think will ever be achieved again in our lifetimes.
“Does that make us the greatest Jewish team of all time? In terms of achievement for sure and inevitably the debate will linger on in terms of quality, but I would be happy to have a few quid on this Hendon team in a theoretical match against any team of yesteryear and would be extremely confident of collecting . That reminds me Phil Peters still owes me £50!”
Describing how proud he feels of his team, he said: “It feels amazing to be treble winners. This success is down to everyone who has put on a Hendon shirt this year even if it was just for a fleeting substitute appearance. I have never known such spirit and determination and quality from just the best and nicest group of boys imaginable. We are a true family club as all our celebratory photos will show and it has been incredibly special and proud for me personally to have been involved with each and every one of them.
And trying to put into words what he feels his side have achieved over the past nine months, he says: “You simply cannot underestimate the magnitude of this achievement. At any level in any league to win so many games back to back knowing that one slip up would end up putting you out of a competition is incredibly difficult. We scored at least four last minute winners and that is no fluke – it’s a never-say-die attitude and an unbelievable will to win. Norstar set the bar so high with 45 points and they really should be congratulated on an amazing season as well. Any other year they would have won it comfortably. But once we had the smell of victory in our blood we all somehow knew we would do it. Our wins in the Peter Morrison against Flixton and in the League against Camden were the ones that made it clear we could pull this off.”
Citing their team spirit as one of the main factors for their success, he said: “We truly play as a team and everyone shares the responsibility. Even today our first six goals were all scored by different goalscorers . We have a brilliant blend of youth and experience and I think that is what stands us out.
“Good up and coming teams like Brady and Norstar just lacked that little bit of experience to go with their young talent. The contributions this season by the likes of Russell Corin Alex Rosenthal, Ben Kon, Ari Last, Avidan last and Greg Corin have been immense and they have driven the younger element of the team onto great heights.
“But as well as having great team spirit, you need to freshen up the quality every season with the right players, and this year the signings of Yoav Lebens and Avi Korman were crucial and gave us huge quality in key areas where we were lacking.
“We just never turned off – usually in the course of a season there are performances when you aren’t quite on it for whatever reason but this year there were none.
“Norstar finishing their season so early meant that we had to treat every game like a cup final and that drove us on and gave us the motivation.”
Sunday’s final game of a mammoth season was against a depleted Lions side, though was fitting they ended it in such emphatic fashion. Yoav Kestenbaum and Greg Corin both scored twice, with Yishai Last, Ari Last, Danny Kon, and Yehuda Korman also all on target to complete the most resounding of wins.
And now looking ahead to next season, Garbacz says: “The treble-treble has a lovely sound to it! It will be impossible to top this season, plus we are losing key players in Yishai Last, Danny Kon and Yehuda Korman who will all be in Israel next year. “However, we will look for the right players to replace them with and after the hangovers and the World Cup have worn off, we will go again. For now though we are all enjoying the moment.”