Norstar London Raiders A manager Rob Richman said it was “a dream” to see his side crowned Premier Division champions.
MGBSFL Premier Division:
North West Neasden 1 Norstar London Raiders A 4
Sunday, 19 April, 2015
A 4-1 win on Sunday at North West Neasden ensured the Raiders sealed the title with a game to spare, and Richman was quick to heap praise on his players. He said: “We’re delighted and so proud at securing the title. It’s a dream to win the most coveted prize in Jewish football and is great reward for all the effort, hard work and dedication the entire squad has put in all season. The players deserve all the plaudits as they really have been a joy to manage all season.”
Leading the club to their first ever top-flight win added a further gloss to their achievement, with him saying: “Obviously it is extra special being our first Premier Division title, just looking at the names of the teams who have won it over the past 10 years makes you realise how special the achievement is. We join an illustrious group who have won this title and we’re delighted to do so.
“I’m not sure there has been one particular factor for our success. We obviously have a very talented group of players but they are also highly committed and determined individuals. They play the game in the right way and that in my mind is what this wonderful club is about.
“We’ve won the most games, scored the most goals and conceded the least so I think it’s fair to say we are deserving of the title. Hendon pushed us close and made it very exciting but whereas last year they were just ahead of us, this year the roles were reversed.”
Saying this win has been the culmination of many hard years of work and endeavor, he said: “In truth, this success has not come about overnight, this has been a long process that stretches back well beyond this season. Jonathan Adelman who has been associated with the club for the last 20 years has been a driving force and he’ll be as delighted as anyone. I know Phil Peters will be particularly happy too and he deserves great credit for all he did last year.”
But already looking ahead to pipping Hendon to another trophy this year, as they go in search of winning a League and Cup double when the two sides meet in the Cyril Anekstein Cup Final on 3 May, he says: “We’re all looking forward to being presented with the trophy next weekend but our focus has already turned to the important Cyril Anekstein cup final in two weeks’ time. It should be another brilliant spectacle between in my opinion the two best Jewish teams around. We will be confident given our recent performance against Hendon but as per all our previous fixtures over the past few years’ it should be a very close, well fought game between two sides who epitomise everything that is good about this league.”
Sunday’s win came through a hat-trick from David Dinkin – including two penalties, while Matt Stock was also on target. Richman said: “We turned up and produced a very professional display. Neasden defended very deep and stuck rigidly to their game but we passed the ball confidently on a tough surface and created numerous opportunities.”
Dan Andrews had given Neasden a glimmer of hope to pull the score back to 2-1, but the defeat leaves them now needing eight points from their remaining three games to avoid relegation to Division One. Manager Stirling Kay said: “First of all I would like to congratulate Raiders on winning the League, they were the best side we had faced this year and are worthy champions.
“This was always going to be a very hard game for us to pick up three points, the truth was that we were beaten by a far better team and we weren’t good enough to break them down.
“We move on to our next game knowing we need eight points from our remaining four games to survive.”