History will be made on Sunday afternoon as a new name will be added to the Peter Morrison Trophy.
North London Raiders A travel up north to take on South Manchester at West Didsbury and Chorlton AFC on Sunday, with both sides bidding to win the trophy for the first time in their history.
Raiders manager Dan Shafron is hoping to end his first season in charge of the club with a piece of silverware, and says: “I’m expecting an exciting game between two good sides. Like us, South Manchester have had a great run to get here and we’re looking forward to the occasion.”
Not believing Manchester will have too much of an advantage, despite his side having to travel north for the game, he said: “It’s difficult to call a favourite, especially in a one-off tie. It’s true that they have the benefit of the game being played on their doorstep, however anything can happen in a final.
“The Peter Morrison Trophy is the one piece of silverware that the club have yet to win. To win it would mean a huge amount to everyone at Raiders.”
Manchester manager Toby Levy is also expecting a ‘tightly fought game’, he said: “We played them two years ago in this competition, in London, and they won convincingly in extra-time, we frustrated them for 90 minutes however they simply had too much for us over 120 minutes.”
Happy to be playing nearer to their home on this occasion, he added: “It’s nice to be playing a game in the north against London opposition. In the past three years, we’ve travelled down to London four times, without return – so it certainly makes a change. Will that mean an advantage? – I don’t think so. We know Raiders are coming down on the Saturday so they’ll be prepared and ready. I think based on them knocking us out a couple of years ago, you have to say that they are slight favourites.
They’re a good side – they have won leagues and cups and this is the only trophy to elude them – so we expect a tightly fought game.”
‘Determined’ to lift the Peter Morrison Trophy for the first time, he said “It would mean the world to the boys, the managers and everyone involved in the club – it’s every (Jewish) boys’ dream.”
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS SQUAD:
Jake Doffman (goalkeeper) – Exceptional goalkeeper who frequently amazes. Deserves plaudits for some superb individual performances this season.
Josh Morris (defender) – Quick, strong and makes it a tricky game for any winger that comes up against him.
Jono Rochwerger (defender) –Regularly displays all the attributes that previously earned him a place in the Australian Maccabiah squad.
Joe Cohen (defender) – Can run all day as one of the fittest members of the squad. Provides a regular outlet in the final third of the pitch.
Alex Bloch (defender) – Has had a great season in an unfamiliar position. Blochy is the model of consistency and is a hugely respected member of the squad.
David Rhodes (defender) – Captain and an undoubted leader on and off the pitch. Has endured a frustrating season plagued with injuries from the start. The boys have desperately missed him but he can now look forward to putting his injury woes behind him.
Justin Spiro (defender) – Unassuming centre back who deals with anything thrown at him with minimal fuss. Has had a couple of injury setbacks this season but is a terrific defender when fit.
Adam Gold (defender) – New signing this season and already a key player when around. Goldy has everything to be one of the best defenders in Jewish football in years to come.
Jonny Kay (midfielder) – Vice Captain and another key player who had a lengthy spell on the side-lines. Tremendous battler and also a calming influence on the pitch.
Adam Joselyn (midfielder) – Has managed to play much of this season after an injury plagued couple of years. Box to box midfielder who can protect the defence just as well as he can join an attack.
Nick Lewis (midfielder) – The epitome of elegance with the ball at his feet. Can glide past opponents, has tremendous vision and can pick a 50-yard pass for fun.
David Nezri (midfielder) – Has been the unluckiest player this season with frequent injury setbacks. When fit, he provides excellent protection to the defence and leaves nothing in a tackle.
Alex Moss (midfielder) – Mossy shows his class and talent whenever he’s available. Another uni student who will only push Raiders on in the future.
Jordan Nathan (forward) – The youngest member of the squad and a player with a big future. Has had a superb breakthrough season in men’s football.
David Dinkin (forward) – One of the longest servants at the club and continues to do what he does best – score goals. Ever present and shows incredible commitment and passion week after week.
Oscar Wagner (forward) – Another member of the uni clan and already Mr Raiders. Has outstanding ability and is regularly at the heart of all attacking play with his pace and vision. Like Goldy, Mossy and Nathan, he will be central to Raiders’ future success.
David Cohen (forward) – Has been one of Raiders signings of the season and has had a superb first season for the club. Shows versatility all over the pitch and has scored and created some superb goals.
Ben Ellis (forward) – Ben’s season came to an unfortunate end in February when he suffered an injury setback. Has so much quality and will be a welcome back next season.
Matt Stock (forward) – Oozes class and is so clinical in front of goal. An absolute joy to watch and gives the team a real edge in the final third.
Liron Mannie (forward) – Has had an incredible season and has been unplayable for much of it. He strives to be the best and has the talent to justify it.
Jordan Marks (forward) – Last season’s MSFL Player of the Year and Raiders’ representative for Great Britain at this year’s Maccabiah Games. Jordan is a huge player for Raiders and has been an enormous miss for much of the season.
Daniel Shafron (manager) – Appointed Raiders manager at the start of the season. Has had to deal with several set-backs to key players throughout the campaign. The cup final is just reward for all the hard work he has put in this year.
Ben Joseph (midfielder/assistant coach) – side-lined by a knee injury that’s kept him out all year. Has been a huge miss in the side and is looking forward to getting back on the pitch next season.
Rob Richman (head of logistics) –Club legend. Has represented the club across all divisions in the MSFL and led the A’s to a historic double-double. Invaluable asset to Raiders organising every aspect behind the scenes for all three teams.