Maccabi Masters Football chairman Stuart Lustigman has expressed his “surprise” that more players aren’t competing in the league.

Lustigman, who founded the league, which enters its 17th season in September, was speaking after confirming it will continue in its current format of two divisions, but with one team less than last season.

He said: “It surprises me that, with the opportunity to extend playing careers beyond 35-years-old and on quality pitches, more players are not progressing to masters football.”

Starting off in 1999 with just four teams, it has now grown to 17, spread over two divisions, with a league cup competition, plus cup for second division teams.

The forthcoming season will see six teams of players over 35, compete in the first division, while the second will consist of eight teams of players over 43-years-old, plus players in their 60’s. Most teams are north west-London based, with there being a team from Essex in each division.

Proud to have sent teams to Israel on a regular basis since 2002, as they’ll also be doing this coming season, Lustigman said: “We will be sending our ninth and largest delegation to Israel in November comprising 29 players and 17 supporters. Many of the players have participated in multiple tours but there are also 10 players who will be making their Masters Israel Tour debut.”

Still on the lookout for additional players, he said: “We’re always on the lookout for new teams, but new players will also help strengthen the League. We’re happy to hear from players for whom we can find teams to join.”

Anyone interested in joining the League should contact Stuart at: Stuartlustigman@aol.com