Maccabiah: Five soccer teams for Israel

June 7, 2013 by David Weiner-Maccabi NSW
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Australia will send five teams to compete in the highly anticipated football tournament at the 19th Maccabiah games in Israel next month.

Women coached v Brazil

Women coached v Brazil

The opens men’s side will be led by Mark Robertson, who brings the expertise from his 15 years as a professional player here and abroad. The bulk of the side plays under Robertson at Maccabi Hakoah in the NSW State League Division 1; they enjoy the benefit of playing together week-in, week-out, but most are going to their first Games. The squad is headlined by former Central Coast Mariner Laurence Braude, who now plays in America, and incoming Sydney club president, Mike Katz, a former National Soccer League player, with Adam Joseph and Marc Kacen the other leaders.

Our open women’s side is the product of a four-year plan under the management of Sydney Kahn, which sees nine players with international Maccabi experience. They’ll be under the guidance of Mark Abro from Maccabi in Perth, who was with the Pan AM team in Brazil and whose UEFA A-license qualifications make him one of the highest trained coaches in the country. Inspiring goalkeeper Amy Seskin will lead the side, which includes Lani Kahn and Bec Joseph, on their third tours. That experience will be vital and Kahn rates the squad, with an average age of 23, a strong chance of medalling in the 10-team league, despite the loss of Perth Premier League player Raffi Waltman and Matilda Ashley Browne to injury.

It’s a family affair in the masters over-45s, where Hakoah legend Alex Robertson, Mark’s father, will coach a side with Maccabiah debutants through to players at their seventh games. Jon Pillemer headlines a squad including three-time representatives Terry Sperber, Larry Mendelowitz, Michael Pillemer, Jeff Akres, Steve Lowy, Alon Cohen and Clive Mazin, drawn from North Caufield in Melbourne and four clubs across Sydney, who have held regular training camps in the lead up to the Games.

The junior boys side have left “no stone unturned” on the road to Israel, says section manager Phil Filler. The core of the side have come through the ranks together at Maccabi Hakoah in Sydney, with other rep players from Melbourne and Perth forming the squad. Under the guidance of former NSW Institute of Sport coach and former Socceroo Brad Maloney, they have enjoyed a couple of training camps and will stop off in Bangkok for a camp at a Premier League academy to fine tune their preparations before arriving in Israel.

The teams are wrapped up by our junior girls side, which has been boosted recently with the inclusion of Mechalie Aizen, a Northern Spirit rep player in Sydney.

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