KIDSWEB

Sunday afternoon sees the start of the Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League as 55 teams spanning five age groups get set for the start of what promises to be another thrilling season.

And looking forward to the big kick-off, League chairman Laurence Thorne says: “Following on from last season’s very successful maximum entry, we find ourselves with another bumper team entry – which will see more than 500 kids playing football every week.”

As per FA guidelines, the U7, U8 and U9 divisions will all be non-competitive while the U10 and U11’s will be split into two. On top of the League fixtures, all the age groups will be involved in cup competitions, with the possibility of further tournaments if time allows. Commenting on the standard of play, Thorne says: “Our season runs for 29 weeks, where we will have an array of players on show, some talented, some just enjoying the experience of playing with friends and classmates. But I have to say, over the past few seasons the quality of football on show and the commitment and dedication from many managers shows our League is becoming stronger and a place where past managers want their teams to return to.”

Ahead of the start of the season, Thorne paid a visit to Israel. He explains: “The League have agreed to work, in association with Emunah, to raise much needed monies and equipment for the Sarah Hertzog Childrens Centre in Afula.

“My wife Mandy and I were invited out at the beginning of August to meet with the Centres management, work with the children and sit and discuss how we, as a League, can assist them. We also look forward to welcoming them to London for a week’s stay in March.”

And for what will be the league’s 25th anniversary, with plans set to be announced to celebrate the landmark, Thorne believes he is still overseeing a strong product. “We are very strong, have maximised our team entries for a further season and are excited to be able to raise much needed monies for the Jewish Afula Centre.

“I am blessed to have such a strong committee, wholly on a voluntary basis, who work tirelessly to ensure our league infrastructure works and it is our intention to build this league, assist new clubs in building new teams for the future and to try and recapture age groups we have lost along the way, so we can offer Jewish Junior age groups across the board.

“Finally, we’re also very grateful for the financial support and coverage the Jewish News gave us last season and look forward to receiving excellent coverage again, week on week, so we can profile the success of this League and its moving forwards.”

U7s: (10 teams)

Alyth Belsize
Hendon Unite White
Hendon Unite Blue
Hendon Unite Red
HMH Herzliya
HMH Eilat
HMH Negev
HMH Tel Aviv
HMH Haifa
North West London Jets (NWLJ)

U8s: (11 teams)

Alyth Belsize Red
Alyth Belsize Black
Alyth Belsize White
Hendon United White
Hendon United Blue
Hendon United Red
Hendon United Green
HMH Haifa
HMH Eilat
HMH Jaffa
NWLJ

U9s: (12 teams)
Alyth Belsize
Hendon United Blue
Hendon United Red
Hendon United White
Brady Maccabi
HMH Netanya
HMH Tel Aviv
HMH Negev
HMH Eilat
HMH Haifa
NWLJ Red
NWLJ Blue

U10s: (12 teams)
Alyth Belsize
Hendon United White
Hendon United Blue
Hendon United Green
Brady Maccabi Blue
Brady Maccabi White
HMH Jaffa
HMH Negev
HMH Eilat
HMH Netanya
HMH Tiberius
NWLJ

U11s: (10 teams)
Alyth Belsize Red
Alyth Belsize Black
Hendon United Blue
Hendon United Red
Hendon United White
Brady Maccabi
HMH Jaffa
HMH Tel Aviv
HMH Eilat
NWLJ