In the summer of 1995, the players and officials of Maccabi Association London (MAL) decided that they had reached the limits of Sunday football and that a new challenge was required. Under the name MALEX they entered the Herts Senior County League for the first time; Saturday therefore marks the 20th anniversary of that key date in our history with a match with probably just as much significance in its own way. For having spent the last half a dozen seasons away from our home, Saturday also sees the return to a Rowley Lane now able to host football at the standard to which we aspire.
At the helm of a new, young and exciting 1st XI is Andy Landesberg who, along with coaches Steve Grenfell and Darren Yarlett have overseen a promising pre-season. Starting back at the end of June to then include 4 friendlies (featuring 2 wins, a draw and just the 1 defeat), the squad is really starting to take shape. With over 30 players signed for the Club, it seems that the Club’s decision to join the Herts Senior County League was the correct one.
“With a nucleus of players from last season, we have been fortunate to see the return from university of Nick Landesberg and Charlie Rubin, along with the additional quality that guys like Jake Furman and Antony Stockman bring. Hopefully more experienced players such as Jon Ellis and TJ Ketterman will stay fit and play a major part in an exciting season that lies ahead,” said Landesberg.
The Gaffer was full of praise for the pre-season work his 2 coaches have put in, and of course the positive way the players have responded. Yarlett, very much a key driver of the Development Squads, has been further delighted by what he’s seen there and thinks the future is oh so bright. “We’ve worked the guys hard over the last month or so and they’ll get their rewards on the pitch I’m sure. Being able though to integrate a few of the younger boys into certain sessions has been a real bonus. Working with the 1st Team can only help their development and make the club a stronger force in the future. To see some of them selected for 1st team duties once they hit 16 would be a happy day for them – and for me – there really are 8 or 9 little gems in the team I coach on a Tuesday evening so I have high hopes”.
Since last they played at their real home, the major investment by the Club with the support of its generous benefactors has seen the near completion of a new 200 seater stand along with floodlights, walkways, fencing/barriers and all the criteria that allows Lions to be able to grow again, but this time at its home of Rowley Lane.
Added Landesberg: “Rowley Lane is the key to the new feel good factor that is all around the Club. It’s now the Teams responsibility to live up to the quality of the surroundings and facilities that are available. We really hope the wider Lions family, and community as a whole, will come down and enjoy what we hope will be a great day with us”.
“The rehearsals are over, it’s now time for all us to deliver quality performances over and over again. We know it can’t always be pretty, but I have a very positive feeling that we will have a very exciting and rewarding campaign”.
The game Vs Ware Sports, in the Herts County Premier Division, kicks off at 3pm. A reminder to come down and lend your support and remember, any adult accompanying a child in a Lions kit gets in for free!