North London Raiders joint-manager Rob Richman says his double winners will be going out to enjoy themselves on Sunday when they look to claim the club’s first ever treble – insisting opponents Hendon will be the ones under pressure as they look to avoid ending the season trophyless.
The Raiders retained the Premier Division title on Sunday thanks to a 6-2 win over Harmen, securing their second consecutive double, and now face Hendon in the Peter Morrison Trophy final this weekend, as they look to become the second Jewish football team to win the treble, the others being Hendon’s 2014 side.
Richman said: “Hendon will probably feel a little more pressure as it’s their only chance for silverware this season, but they are a great, experienced side so I’m sure that won’t have much of an impact.
“We shouldn’t really be in this final but were put through by a technicality, for us it’s a bonus and we’ll just go out and enjoy the occasion.”
Predicting a tight tussle, Richman said: “Hendon vs Raiders is always a very close game, there really is little between the two sides. Frustratingly for us we picked up four injuries in the Harmen game so we’ll be down to the bare bones.
“However, whatever team we put out we expect to compete and push Hendon all the way. There will be so much great attacking quality on show that I hope it will be a classic cup final.
Summing up what winning a treble would mean to the club, he said: “Everyone wants to win titles and cups and to win all three would be great. There will be so much great attacking quality on show that I hope it will be a classic cup final.
“However, whether we win or lose on Sunday this has been an unbelievable season, one in which we’ve all enjoyed and can be extremely pleased with.”
Hendon manager David Garbacz insists his side are the underdogs, though says they’re “desperate” to prevent the Raiders from matching their treble-winning feat.
He said: “Raiders must be favourites. They are unbeaten this season, they have just won the league and the Anekstein and they are going for the treble. All the pressure is on them – they’ve had a fantastic season and have been head and shoulders above every team in terms of consistency and performance.
“Despite that I do think the sides are evenly matched – we will be at full strength on Sunday for one of the only times this year and I have always said that when we have our best team available we can beat anyone. There will not be much in it between the two sides at all.”
Happy to see everyone fit for the final, he said: “Unsurprisingly everyone has declared themselves fit and available – it’s amazing how that happens for cup finals. Team selection will be very difficult – I’m pleased for the role on role off rule in case the initial selection isn’t working. All our big guns are available and I feel we have more potential match winners.”
In terms of what he expects from the game, he said: “It will be a far more open and attacking game than the Anekstein final Raiders played against Oakwood. If we try to keep it a tight match they will probably win – defensively they have been brilliant all year – consequently we will want a much more open match where our forwards can make an impact – I predict goals and lots of goalmouth action. The match could be one on the wide flanks of Wingate. They have huge strength in that department but so do we – the full backs from both sides will have massive role to play.
But determined to make sure Raiders don’t emulate their treble-wining feats, he said: “We go into this match full of confidence and belief – we are the ones with history at stake as well – we’re going for a third consecutive National cup triumph which is no mean feat. We need to treat this match like any other – we have had lots of cup final experience over the last few years so nerves should not be a factor.”
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A:
Jake Doffman (goalkeeper)
Jake has been a defensive behemoth all season and is a massive part of the great defensive record the team have put together this season. Ever reliable and enjoys the big stage, banners and all.
Alex Bloch (full-back)
Finally scored his first goals for the club this season and predictably after going 90+ games without a goal, he scored two in one game. As always, Blochy has been a model of consistency and has put together another brilliant season from left back.
Josh Morris (full-back)
New dad Josh has been tremendous all season in his right back berth. Makes it a tricky game for any left wingers he comes across and has been outstandingly consistent all season.
Jonathan Rochwerger (defender)
Raiders’ new Aussie recruit for the season. Jono has been a great addition to the side and has shown why he represented Australia at the Maccabiah Games in Israel.
JJ Spiro (full-back)
Another outstanding season from JJ, our un-assuming Centre Back who deals with anything thrown at him with minimal fuss. Hardly ever makes a mistake and acts as the perfect foil no matter who plays alongside him.
Josh Pistol (centre-back)
Josh has been splitting his time this season between Raiders and another un-named club but has been superb whenever he has lined up in Orange. Hardly ever loses an aerial battle and has even cut down on the amount of yellow cards this season!
David Rhodes (centre-back)
Captain of the side and an undoubted leader on the pitch. Had a more testing season than usual after breaking his arm in December but has bounced back superbly to lead the side at the business end of the season.
Ben Rosenblatt (left-back)
Has been an immensely valuable addition to the squad over the summer and really played his part in the team’s season to date. Made the bulk of his contributions in the first half of the season but would always be there when called upon.
Elliott Moslawy (midfielder)
Lulli has not made as many appearances as last season but he is still a much loved figure within the squad. Although he has been absent in the last couple of months he will certainly make an appearance at any end of season party!
Jonny Kay (midfielder)
When he can be dragged away from the newest ‘in’ brunch spot, JK has been sensational this season. Tremendous battler in the heart of the midfield but also has the quality to start nearly every attack. Will be a big loss today.
Adam Joselyn (midfielder)
One of the biggest disappointments this season has been that Jos has not been able to play as many games as he should. Was in top form through pre-season and in the first few games but fell victim to a nasty ankle injury that has side-lined him since.
Oscar Wagner (winger)
Oscar has been a revelation in his debut season for the club. Has made crucial contributions in big games throughout the season, no more so than his sensational strike against Hendon in December. He has a very bright future and is tipped to be Raiders captain one day.
Ben Joseph (midfielder)
The MSFL legend has again had a phenomenal season in the middle of the park. Feared by opponents on a weekly basis for good reason, Ben acts as a fulcrum to the team and most of what is good flows though him. Has not scored a trademark free kick yet this season so watch out if he gets a chance in today’s game.
Alex Moss (midfielder)
Alex is in his debut season with Raiders but has shown his talent when called upon. Another current university student who will hopefully push Raiders on in the future.
Alex Kaye (midfielder)
Big summer signing from Faithold who he had been with for about 25 years. Alex is a dream of a midfield player who tries to cover every blade of grass and pops in with a few goals aswell. Has suffered from injuries this year which has unfortunately cut his season short. He has been concentrating on his banter within the team’s whatsapp group instead.
Ricky Engleman (midfielder)
Ricky has had a brilliant season accompanying JK and Ben Joseph in the middle of the park. Has chipped in with goals regularly and nearly every week comes up with an all action display. Early contender for MSFL player of the season.
Nick Lewis (midfielder)
Another new summer signing for the team but Nick quickly made himself at home by scoring in nearly every game. An elegant footballer who dribbles for fun and must have one of the hardest shots in the division. Has been missed since he went travelling in February.
David Dinkin (forward)
Dinks’ enjoyed the same sort of season he’s had for the last 10 years, he has been an ever present and scored a hat full of goals. Has been an unbelievable servant to L’Orange and is now the second longest serving player at the club. Don’t bet against him opening the scoring today!
Josh Green (forward)
Been a brilliant option for the team throughout the season. Unfortunately has had to be shared with the B team but has made invaluable contributions whenever called upon. Also a brilliant graphic designer, see www.joshuasaulgreen.com
Ben Ellis (forward)
Another new addition to the squad, Ben has scored what was undoubtedly the Raiders goal of the season so far. Has so much quality and it’s been unfortunate that injuries have curtailed the start to his Raiders career.
Matt Stock (forward)
Unfortunately has been severely restricted this season by injury but has returned to fitness for the crucial run in. An absolute joy to watch when in form and gives the team a real edge in the final third.
Liron Mannie (forward)
Last season’s player of the year. He has not been available due to university commitments but has been excellent when available. First half hat trick against Redbridge in the teams biggest game of the season so far underlined his importance when on the pitch.
Nyv Bogaire (forward)
Youngest member of the squad but he has been sensational in his cameos. No doubt that he is a superstar in the making. Deserves congratulations for signing his first professional contract with Hendon FC.
Jordan Marks (forward)
AKA the gazelle. Has been unplayable at times this season. Jordan is the team’s top goalscorer and with his blistering pace and ability on the ball he is threat to any team. Scored from 40 yards in last season’s final so anything is possible today. Another contender for MSFL player of the season.
Rob Richman (manager)
Raiders as a club would not be where they are were it not for Rob. Has managed Raiders in every division within the MSFL and seems to organise every aspect behind the scenes for all 3 teams at Raiders. Is an invaluable asset to the club and someone for whom the boys would love to win the trophy for this afternoon.
Jake Richman (mascot)
Jake is one of the first members of the newly founded Raiders youth system and will surely be lining up as a player in many finals to come.
Jon Green (manager)
Hugely influential figure and perfect foil to co-manager Rob Richman. Has a near perfect record in management and will be hoping for back to back Anekstein cup wins this afternoon.
HENDON PEN PICS:
Russell Corin (goalkeeper)
Four kids under five is why Sunday mornings is Russell’s favourite time of the week. Ain’t no mountain high enough to prevent Russ from turning up and putting it in week in week out – still one of the best in the league. If it goes to pens we win.
Ben Kon (right-back)
A Hendon stalwart for over 10 years – his testimonial was an emotional affair – a man of few words – except when he’s racing through the Megilla, still more than capable of competing with the best and quickest in the league.
Ari Nevies (central defender)
Team joker, smoker, drinker but still more than reliable defender. Very strong tackler. Not been quite at this best this season but tends to come good on the big occasion. Late afternoon kick-off will suit.
Alex Rosenthal (central defender/wannabe centre forward)
Another one of the more experienced brigade. Very solid when fully fit but had to contend with some injuries this year as the bones start to creak. Provides a superb end of season BBQ venue.
Ethan Zone (left-back)
One of the fittest members of the squad having completed the marathon this year – ultra consistent and one of the first names on the team sheet – threat going forward. Will be missed next season when going to Australia as will his girlfriend who is our number one fan.
Rafi Kon (defender/midfielder)
Club treasurer, admin secretary and full of opinions. Excellent squad member and good reader of the game. Has missed very few games in recent years and is a consistent performer. Keep it simple is his motto.
Gav Krieger (defender)
First year in the squad and definitely wins most enthusiastic award. Despite not getting regular football has never let us down when called upon and he will not have a hair out of place on Sunday for the club photos. Loves a bit of gel.
Simon Peterman (midfielder/defender)
Bone crunching tackling tough old school Sunday footballer – will let others around him play the fancy stuff but is vital for ball winning attributes and cool experienced head.
Ari Last (midfielder and captain)
Club skipper and former player of the year. Hugely respected by his peers and opponents. Can control a game from beginning to end – if he is on song then Hendon will be hard to stop. Still a colossus in midfield and will be desperate to lift the trophy. A true Hendon stalwart.
Avi Korman (central midfield)
One of the best young players in the league – the real future of Hendon – leads by example – fantastic box to box player and always the first name on the team sheet. Comes from the finest footballing Jewish stock in the country. My tip for cup final man of the match.
Yoav Kestenbaum (midfield/forward)
The player for the big occasion – missed out on last year’s final due to injury but can make a huge impact this time around. Feared throughout the league – superb skill and strength and a real potential match winner.
Greg Corin (winger)
A Hendon and Maccabi league legend – been dazzling defenders for 10 years now and has superb touch and technique. One of the favourites for the player/manager role should the boss decide to retire – still a big threat and capable of a match winning moment of magic.
Dovi Fehler (forward)
Going for the golden boot award with over 25 goals this season. Blistering pace, great finisher and will not sleep for days leading up to this final. Photographers at the ready for the best goal celebration in the league – flying tzitzit and kippa will hopefully stay on. A real star.
Moses (Dave) Seitler (forward/winger)
Limited appearances this season due to University commitments but will play on Sunday and is true box office. Last year’s match winner with two cup final goals – will be the name all Raiders fans will dread to see in the starting line up.
Zac Lewis (forward)
Burst onto the scene this season – well into double figures for goals scored and assists – hugely skilful and pacey and a fantastic dead ball specialist. A magnificent addition to the squad and will only get better – another potential match winner.
Israel Lewis (defender)
Only played a handful of games due to a combination of injuries and airport taking responsibilities. Good utility squad member and fully capable if chance arrives.
Chaim Korman (anywhere)
Sunday school commitments have prevented more appearances but the afternoon kick-off ensures availability. Incredible skilful young pacey footballer who literally can play anywhere on the park.
David Garbacz (manager/George Clooney/Mourinho lookalike)
Massive speculation as to whether this is his final season. If it is would love to go out with yet another trophy. Would be sorely missed by the press and wife is desperate for him to continue. Loves a quote and a wind up. Going for an unprecedented third consecutive PM trophy.