NSW Maccabi celebrates soccer career

June 15, 2012 by David Weiner-Maccabi NSW
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The testimonial match for Maccabi Hakoah legend Jon Pillemer really was a spectacular event put on by our Feds Football Club to pay tribute to a player who has been part of the club’s furniture as a player and administrator for a long, long time.

JP on the attack    Pic: Henry Benjamin

A full grandstand, bursting with spectators in Maccabi blue; a carnival atmosphere; a who’s who of Australian football royalty and a roll call of friends and former teammates.

For Pillemer, who has won two State League Division Two grand finals with the club, it was a fitting end to his long and distinguished football career.
“It was the most special night, one of those surreal nights,” JP told J-Wire.
“I was really appreciative of the former Socceroos, my old teammates and those that made the effort to come to the game despite the rainy day.
“I want to thank the club again for putting on the night for me. It was a humbling and special experience.
“It was also perfect to end alongside my brothers. We played in so many teams together; Super League, Australian Universities, Maccabiah, so it was a great way to end – especially being substituted for my nephew Zac!”
A host of former teammates played in the Maccabi Hakoah All Stars v Australia All Stars match.
Good friend Kimon Taliadoros, who traveled from Melbourne for the match, said the roll call of Socceroos couldn’t jump any quicker at the chance to be part of the special event.
“There aren’t a lot of Australian players to have received a testimonial,” Kimon, who first met Jon at the 1991 World Student Games, told Maccabi News.
“You would’ve thought some of the great Socceroos have – but it’s not the case … this is one of the first. I really appealed to a lot of ex-Socceroos, guys who have played with Johnny over the years, to honour the individual and enjoy the camaraderie and share another football memory.
“You’ve got to acknowledge Maccabi, the club, for making it happen. It is something for other clubs to follow the lead on.”
Taliadoros, who coached the club to the first grade title in 2005, led the tribute to Pillemer.
“The match was a tremendous initiative and a pleasure to be a part of. As far as Johnny the player, he was a player with exceptional individual skill, but he had the ability to create goal scoring opportunities. The main reason for that was he could beat players with his skill. Apart from his character and leadership, his standout quality as a player was his professionalism.
He has been single minded, committed and prepared like no other player I’ve ever seen. They were the hallmarks of his success and longevity.”

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