With little more than three weeks to go until the start of the new season, two of the League’s new boys believe they can be champions in their debut season.
Insisting they won’t live up to their name, Real Sosobad manager Daniel Shafron has set his sights high, saying they’re determined to win the title.
He said: “Our aim is to win the league and we believe this is realistic. Our preparation has been good, we’ve played a handful of friendlies and are pleased with our performances.” Believing they possess what it takes to become champions, he says: “We’re resilient and strong defensively, have good pace, ability and experience throughout.” And just as sure any success they do have will be down to the team as a whole, he says: “I hate to speak about individuals. Players don’t win you trophies, teams win trophies, squads win trophies.”
Another new side in the league is London Rovers, and their chairman Vyvyan Emanuel has similar lofty height. “Each and every team including ourselves are aiming for the title but we really feel this team that we have put together is very capable of doing just that”, he says. “We feel with the mix of experience at the back and youth moving forward, we have a team that will win the league this season.”
And believing they needed to get an experienced manager in to lead them to glory, they’ve appointed ex-Dynamo Hendon boss Jeremy Brown as their manager. Brown says: “It’s great to be back. I knew that if I came back, I would only want to focus on managing the team and not the club as it proved too much last time round. Teaming up with Viv gives me that opportunity. He’s got bags of experience with running a club and is doing a great job. We’ve put together a team with an equal mix of youth and experience. Some of the guys played for me at Dynamo and they’ll be vital to this team. We have a lot of quality and we’ll be aiming for a title challenge”.
Having played friendlies since early July, their best performances being a 5-3 win over Raiders Masters and 5-2 triumph over Catford, Emanuel says “We now have three tough games remaining and will then be ready to go. We’re a new team and we wanted everyone to come together and get to grips with the formation and style of play. The players are working hard in training and we will be ready for the fight by the first game.”
Having signed a two-year sponsorship deal with Benjamin Stevens Estate Agents, he cites a mixture of quality youth and experience as being their main threat, while citing Dovi Fehler as being a contender for the golden boot again this year, and highlighting Yehoshua Silverman as a player to keep an eye on.
Believing his side are going to be looking for consolidation as opposed to championships, James Lewis, co-chairman & club secretary of KS Reunited says: “We’re a new club so are very realistic about what we can and can’t achieve, as well as being aware of the standard of competition we are going to be up against. However, despite that we definitely feel with the quality we have throughout the squad, we can push the top teams in the league and surprise a few people.” With preparations having gone well, he says their strong defence and goalkeeper will be key to their success, while naming Luke Roback, Jason Goldstein and Sam Rank as their men to watch, the latter two being players “who will be the envy of the whole league.”
Elliot Nussbaum claims his Shacharit Donetsk side are probably the youngest ever squad MGBSFL squad, and as such, is making any proud boasts. He says: “It may be an old cliché, but we’ll be taking one game at a time. We’re looking to identify a strong team morale, with every player working for each other, to have good possession, hard work off the ball, and to be difficult to beat.
“Our team main preparation has mainly been to work on our fitness, we’ll get a few friendlies in and work on tactics.” Saying team spirit will be their biggest strength, he also says it’s about the team as opposed to star names, saying: “We are a team all the way down to the tea lady, we win/lose as a team, in the history of football, as far as I am concerned, winners have 11 key players on the pitch.”
King Crown manager Jacob Kadoch has high hopes for his side, saying: “After one season under our belt we are looking to win the league with quality football and in my eyes a very good team. Pre-season has been great and everybody is getting fit for the opener. Our strengths are the football and understanding the team has built over a solid season.”
Hendon B manager Adam Glekin says he’s ‘cautiously optimistic about the upcoming season. He said: “Last season was a disappointing one, we finished considerably lower than the talent in our squad suggested we should and with the number of new teams in the division, it’s hard to know how strong a league it’ll, but I hope we’ll be in amongst the teams pushing for promotion.”
Preparations have been mixed for his side, with Kadoch saying: “We began pre-season considerably earlier than usual, but our first friendly against Blizzard Storm was an appalling display. Since then we’ve turned a corner and put in good showings against London Rovers and Norstar C so things are looking brighter!
“I think the attitude in the squad is very good, we don’t have any perpetual moaners and everyone gives 100 percent. Combined with the fact we have some talented players makes us a tough team to play. We are on the verge of completing the signing of Gideon Barth, he had a dream debut in a pre-season friendly and will be a real asset. Benjamin Silverblatt has also been added who looks like an exciting prospect. Many of our key names were in last season’s squad, but we didn’t get to see a lot of them. If we can get more playing time out of the likes of Avi Mocton, Saul Cohen and Gideon Caller that could be vital.
Temple Fortune chairman Nigel Kyte is looking to an improvement on last season, which saw them finish bottom of the table. He said: “We were disappointed to finish bottom of the table – which wasn’t envisaged so obviously we are looking for an improvement (which shouldn’t be too difficult!) With several newcomers joining it would be foolish to set a target other than the objective of enjoying a much better campaign. If we make the upper heights of the division then that will be a bonus.”
Having played KS Reunited in their sole pre-season friendly to date, they have games coming up against EDRS Masters, Boca Jewniors, a TF Founders’ XI and Temple Fortune Masters to follow, and speaking of the squad, says: “The side will be a mixture of existing players and newcomers, adding experience and youth to a side which we are hoping will hold its own in the division at the very least. The main strength is a togetherness as a team and being a nice bunch of lads; you only have to hear the dressing room banter to know that these guys are playing to enjoy as much as to win games. Hoping last season’s top scorer Zack Rich can build up a powerful partnership with Laurence Swerner, he’s also looking to their new midfielder Anthony Shaw to prove a key signing for them.
After a tough time out last season, Gabriel John is hoping to settle Boca Jewniors this coming season, with a mid-table table finish being a realistic ambition.
Preparations have been steady so far with a 3-3 draw with Faithfold and hard-fought 0-0 stalemate with Hendon C, though Boca still have a lot work on.
Speaking about their chances for the season, chairman Sefton Monk says: “Our strengths are definitely our experience & youth. With the likes of Jamie Weinrich and Gabriel John leading the squad this season, and the likes of Josh Webber & Charlie Hollis adding youth, we have good diversity within the squad.”
Key names to look out for are the returning Weinrich, who will add a devastating finisher to Boca’s ranks, along with manager John taking over as manager (though he’ll have his playing gear & number 4 shirt at the ready).
Monk also isn’t dismissing the possibility of more signings, saying he’s given John a ‘HUGE transfer kitty’, and reveals his bargaining tactics to lull players to Boca: “We have a lot to spend on players this season, i can offer Salmon & Cream cheese bagels and an all expenses paid trip to Carmelli’s in Golders Green.”
Faithfold B and Maccabi London Lions Green complete the line-up