Maccabi GB’s football and futsal teams both won silver at the 2016 European Maccabi Football Trophy (EMFT) in Spain.

In the biennial Jewish Football and Futsal competition. Maccabi France were the dominant force of European, Jewish Football as they retained their title in the open football competition, with a similar one-two in the futsal event.

The three day tournament welcomed European Jewish footballers and futsal players from Maccabi France, Maccabi Germany, Maccabi Holland and Maccabi Spain. In total, the EMFT engaged more than 200 people over the whole weekend, with special guest Motti Tichauer, Chairman of the European Maccabi Confederation, in attendance. Jewish Football stalwart and MGBSFL Chairman, David Wolff, was Team GB’s Head of Delegation.

With all countries playing each other in a league format, things started badly for Team GB on the pitch as Daniel Shafron’s team lost 4-1 to France in their opening game, Zak Neiman netting GB’s consolation, as they fell to the bottom of the table.

However, they hit back immediately thanks to an emphatic 9-0 win over Spain. Daniel Garfinkle hit a hat-trick, with Zak McLeod adding a brace in what was an all-round outstanding performance.

After a traditional Maccabi Shabbat that night and Saturday – and a chance for GB’s young athletes to create new, Jewish friendships with their European counterparts – the sport resumed on Sunday with MGB exacting revenge on Germany for a defeat at last summer’s European Maccabi Games in Berlin. Dovi Fehler got the games’ sole goal, and with other results going their way, MGB justly earned the runners-up place for the second-consecutive EMFT.

EMFTFUTSALIn the futsal, a Matt Stock-inspired performance saw them beat Spain 6-4 in their opening fixture, before they fell to 6-0 defeat to a talented France team. This was followed by a resounding 9-3 victory against Jewish futsal specialists, Holland, which saw player-manager Daniel Tannenbaum mirroring Matt Stock from the previous game, bagging a hat-trick. Leor Harel and Matt Stock hit two apiece with Jonathan Horwitz and Daniel Warwick completing the scoring. A final-day win against Madrid saw GB confirmed as silver medalists.

The event was concluded with a medal ceremony for all the winners and runners-up, while the winning teams also received a trophy for their efforts.

MGB’s open football manager Daniel Shafron said: “All round it was a fantastic experience for everyone involved. The squad did themselves proud on and off the pitch and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of boys to share this experience with. We are very proud of our achievements and will long live in the memories of each and every player.”

Open futsal manager Daniel Tanenbaum said: “This is a huge achievement for our team and Maccabi GB Futsal as a whole. Our team of six had never played the sport competitively before and we beat two established Maccabiah teams in Spain and Holland. Every player put in their shift and got on the score sheet at least twice and if we didn’t have to play a strong France team straight after a tough game against Spain, we could have potentially won Gold. A special mention goes to Grant Waissel who played for both teams in goal and was an absolute rock and also to Laurence Myers who was a fantastic Coach throughout the tournament.”

Final standings:

Football
Winners: Maccabi France
Runners-up: Maccabi GB
Third place: Maccabi Germany

Futsal
Winners: Maccabi France
Runners-up: Maccabi GB
Third place: Maccabi Madrid