Jamie Cole has been named as manager of the Team Maccabi GB’s U18 football team for next summer’s European Games in Berlin.
Alongside him, Ben Lane will act as his assistant manager, with Marc Greene acting as coach.
All three are well-versed in domestic and international football, particularly within the Jewish game. Cole spent much of his playing career representing Oakhill, where he won the MJSL Division 1 title with the B Team; the then-Maccabi Southern Football League (MSFL) Premier Division Title on three occasions (including one in his first role as Player/Manager); and the League Cup, also three times. After being awarded ‘Manager of the Year’ he moved onto North West Neasden and continued to fill his trophy cabinet, winning an incredible MSFL Premier Division & Peter Morrison Cup Double three years in a row. His exploits saw another ‘Manager of the Year Award’ in 2010, followed by a spell as Manager of the MSFL Rep Team. It was only a matter of time before his winning ways rubbed-off on Team Maccabi GB and he won a Bronze Medal at the 19th Maccabiah Games in 2013.
Speaking about his appointment, Cole said: “The role of Team Maccabi GB’s U18s football team manager is one which carries great responsibility and is also filled with great honour. More than anyone, we are aware of the importance of the 19th Maccabiah Games side [who won Gold in Israel in 2013] and what it personifies from a footballing point of view and also how the players and managers conduct themselves as representatives of Britain’s Jewish Community. Football is the language of the world and is one that can bring different communities together. Great friendships are made on the football field and it is a great forum in which to earn one’s respect.
“My coaching team and I intend to bring together the most talented group of individuals and mould them into a team that the Community can and will be proud of. One thing that is guaranteed from the European Maccabi Games 2015 – it will be a great experience. We all strive to excel and succeed as all Jewish nations have done throughout history. Naturally, not everyone can finish first but that doesn’t mean that we don’t all have that desire to win. However, what is certain is that, win or lose, if approached in the right way, the participants will have experiences that will be remembered for the rest of their lives.”
Cole’s management team also boasts two footballing silverware-winners. Ben Lane has had an impressive playing career, winning numerous titles and League Cups for the likes of Brady Maccabi, Oakwood and Oakhill. He has also played for Wingate & Finchley FC and Managed Oakhill to an MJSL Championships. Coach, Marc Greene, has had an almost identical playing career, also accruing a mountain of League Titles and Cups for Brady Maccabi, Stonegrove, Neasden and Oakhill as well as plying his trade at Wingate & Finchley. His international career has seen him represent Team Maccabi GB on three occasions – as a player for the Men’s Open Football Team at the European Maccabi Games 2004, again as a player for the Men’s Open Futsal Team at the 17th Maccabiah Games in 2005 and as Manager of the U16 Football Team at the JCC Maccabi Games in Montreal in 2002.
Lane said: “Jamie, Marc and I feel this is one of the greatest honours of all to manage the Team Maccabi GB side in Berlin. We believe we can do the job the justice that it deserves in all respects. The U18’s have a wonderful pedigree and the three of us intend and expect to maintain their excellent record at this level, whilst making sure the boys have a lot of fun along the way”
Greene added: “Having lots of history with Maccabi GB I really understand what the Maccabi experience is about. Playing is a big part and it will be competitive – we will go to win. But, just as important is the friends you make, the experiences you have and the other Jewish people you meet who share a heritage with you. The Maccabi ethos covers a number of intangible notions of; lasting and enduring friendship, playing with dignity, being proud of your heritage, realising the scale of the Jewish movement; and how, wherever you go, you have a family. The Rachmanus Rule really defined the way to play – why try to win 10-0 if you are already 4-0 up and have the team well beaten? Better you make a game of it and ensure no-one loses face or pride. This is also what we will be installing in our players”.
The recruitment process will start immediately with the U18’s Management Team visiting as many games as possible. They then plan to set two or three open trials where all players will be given an equal opportunity to impress, irrelevant of the league, division or club they play for. The sessions will be designed in such a ways as to enable Cole and his team to determine who they are looking for. They also plan to speak to Managers of teams to get a better understanding of their players before the final squad is announced. The U18 Managers will continue to watch as many matches as possible throughout the remainder of the 2013/2014 season.