In the same year the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ decided to call it a day from his beloved Chelsea, David Garbacz, the ‘Jewish Jose Mourinho’, has done likewise with Hendon. Not one who’s backward in coming forward, he’s definitely no shrinking violet, has caused controversy over the years, and fortunately for me, loved to give a quote (he did though last longer than two seasons at the club). But more important than anything else, he’s been one of the key figures in Jewish football, one of the characters, and provided plenty of drama and entertainment – both on and off the pitch. Bowing out having delivered a third consecutive national cup win, and still the only manager to have landed a Jewish football treble, he said: “I leave with a heavy heart but have no regrets. I’ve loved every minute of the last six years and it has been a true honour to have managed some really great players.” Mourinho’s absence was shortlived, let’s hope Garbacz’s will be likewise.
Baku was a hive of activity for Israeli and Israeli-British judokas at the weekend. Gili Cohen won her first ever International Judo Federation Grand Slam title, winning the U52 kg event, though it was another Israeli, who now represents GB, who was a keynote winner. Alice Schlesinger, who switched allegiance in 2014, won her first Grand Slam title in four years, beating Israeli Yarden Gerbi on her way to gold. Winning the final in a mere 27 seconds, she also secured 500 qualifying points in her bid to reach this summer’s Olympic Games.
Laetitia Beck, the first Israeli player to qualify for the LPGA Tour, was making headlines last week when took the first round lead at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for her, as she finished in joint-15th place. The £15,000 she eanrt should though serve as a small sweetner as she gets set to represent her country in Rio.