London will be the centre of European Jewish football this weekend as the European Maccabi Football Trophy returns to the capital.
The two day tournament will bring together the top Jewish football and futsal sides from across Europe, with matches being played at Maccabi London Brady Sports Ground and SportHouse, Dagenham on Friday 13th June and Sunday 15th June.
Only the second time Maccabi GB has hosted the tournament, Team Maccabi GB will compete against Maccabi Delegations including France, Germany, Holland and Gibraltar in open and masters categories, while in a first for the competition, there will also be an open women’s futsal tournament.
The open football team, jointly-managed by familiar MGBSFL names, Robert Richman and Jonathan Green, will be looking to regain the trophy that the side last won in 2010. Due to the hoard of talent towards the summit of the Maccabi GB Southern Football League Premier Division, it’s no surprise that the squad is predominantly made up of players from the top five teams. The side will compete against France, Germany and Team Maccabi GB Masters, managed by Dan Jacobs and Matt Kleinman.
Open Football Tournament (Featuring Maccabi France & Maccabi Germany)
Team Maccabi GB Masters (Managed by Dan Jacobs and Matt Kleinman)
Team Maccabi GB (Managed by Robert Richman and Jonathan Green)
Russ Corin (Hendon A)
Adam Hakimi (Redbridge Jewish Care A)
David Rhodes (Norstar London Raiders A)
Avi Korman (Hendon A)
Jake Rinsler (Brady Maccabi A)
Josh Morris (Norstar London Raiders A)
Jonathan Kay (Norstar London Raiders A)
Ben Sollosi (Redbridge Jewish Care A)
Ben Joseph (Brady Maccabi A)
Rocky Spitzer (Faithfold A)
Yoav Kestenbaum (Hendon A)
Ethan Zone (Norstar London Raiders A)
David Woolman (Oakwood A)
Jamie Wolfson (Norstar London Raiders A)
Josh Rose (Oakwood A)
Speaking about their squad and their side’s chances in the EMFT, managers Green and Richman said: “We are very pleased to announce our squad for the upcoming EMFT tournament. We believe that the group we’ve put together is a great blend of youth and experience and we’ve been very encouraged by the training sessions we’ve had so far. It is the closest there has been to a Rep Team in the last few years and we believe this group of players will represent the league credibly and successfully.
“This is a great opportunity for the MGBSFL and its players to play at an international level and will hopefully lead to greater opportunities for these players at future international tournaments. We would encourage as many people as possible to come down to Rowley Lane and support the team in what is a rare international Jewish sporting event taking place in London.”
Due to their spectacular unbeaten season, many of Team Maccabi GB’s Open Futsal team has been hand-picked from Maccabi GB Futsal, who competes in the FA National Futsal League. There are some new faces, such as Jordan Kay, Sammy Horne and talented Loughborough University Futsal player, Russell Goldstein. They will be overseen by Maccabi GB Futsal Player/Manager Jon Kurrant. The team will face-off against an experienced Masters side, managed by Maccabi GB stalwart, Adam Lustigman, as well as France, Holland and a mixed Germany/Gibraltar team:
Open Futsal Tournament: (Featuring Maccabi France, Maccabi Holland, Maccabi Germany/Maccabi Gibraltar)
Team Maccabi GB (Managed by Jon Kurrant)
Team Maccabi GB Masters (Managed by Adam Lustigman)
For the first time in the competition’s history the EMFT will welcome an Open Women’s Futsal category, with the best female Futsal players from across Maccabi’s European Delegations facing-off against each other.
The format of the weekend will see group matches played on Friday morning and afternoon, before the EMFT’s official Opening Ceremony and Shabbat coming in. On Sunday the competition resumes with Play-Offs/Finals followed by the trophy presentations and a BBQ.
Maccabi GB’s Joint Vice Chairman, Daniel Collins, spoke about the excitement that the EMFT brings to the Community, “It is not often that the UK’s Jewish Community has a major sports competition on its doorstep. We all know how big these sports are in this country and with the whole country gripped in ‘Football Fever’, thanks to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, what better way to immerse ourselves in Football and Futsal. I encourage everyone within the Community to come along to Maccabi London Brady Sports Ground and SportHouse to cheer on Team Maccabi GB’s Open and Masters teams and to welcome other Jewish athletes to the UK with open arms.”
Football matches will be played at Maccabi London Brady Sports Ground, Rowley Lane, Arkley, Barnet, Herts, EN5 3HW. Futsal matches will be played at SportHouse, Mayesbrook Park, Dagenham, Essex, RM8 2JR. The full schedule can be found below:
Friday 13th June 2014:
9am-5pm – Football matches played
12pm-4:30pm – Futsal matches played
6:30pm – Opening Ceremony
Sunday 15th June 2014:
9am-1pm – Football matches played
9am-12pm – Futsal matches played
1pm – BBQ and Medal Ceremony at Maccabi London Brady