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Dean Furman has been nominated for the Senior Sportsperson of the Year award

THE MACCABI GB sports awards take place next weekend and now that the list of nominees have been announced, it’s pretty evident to see what a strong calibre of sportsmen and women this year’s lists have drawn up. Dean Furman has really come of age in a South African football shirt over the past 12 months and must go down as favourite to win the senior award. The junior list includes a world powerlifting champion, national heroes and one of the stars of the Maccabiah Games, athlete Ellie Edwards. The team nominees include a trio of successful teams from the Games in Israel, while several other awards are also up for grabs. A star-studded evening, offering the best sporting Jewish talent, awaits.

INTERNATIONAL week may be around the corner for the footballing fraternity, but Israel’s non-involvement in any games over the next week may come to the benefit for one of their younger players. Nir Biton will be spending the next non-playing fortnight with his club – and that’s music to the ears of his Celtic boss, Neil Lennon. Making his first competitive start at the weekend in their 4-1 win at Ross County, Lennon was delighted with the 22-year-old, saying: “For a first competitive league start, I thought he was very impressive. Nir worked very hard last week, we felt he was looking good enough for a start against Ross County and he pleased me because I thought he was really good in the game.” A lack of game time for his club has in part been blamed on his absence due to international duty, so Lennon’s just happy that he’ll have him to himself for the next two weeks. “Nir’s been away a lot since he joined us, but is not travelling this time,” he said. “Thankfully, we will have him for a couple of weeks here during the break and we can work with him. That will do him good.” Hopefully for both club and country.