Maccabiah team interest tops 500

June 22, 2016 by David Weiner
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Over 500 Jewish athletes and officials from across Australia have officially registered their interest to wear green and gold at the 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel in 2017.

The deadline for prospective athletics to nominate their interest in being a part of the Australian delegation looms large, with the cut-off to sign up online on Maccabi Australia’s website set for June 30.


“This is shaping up as the largest, most exciting delegation Australia has taken to Maccabiah Games,” Head of Delegation Tom York said.

“Not only in terms of interest from athletes, but the calibre and professionalism of the teams supporting them – from medical, to media, to physio, to coaching.

“We are working overtime to make sure this event is the most athlete focused ever and have some exciting announcements coming up – but we can’t stress the importance of athletes nominating by the end of the month.

“In terms of frequently asked questions, we understand some candidates are worried about it clashing with their HSC/VCE studies, but we have made provisions to allow them to combine both Maccabiah and study in Israel.

“Further information is available on that, all other concerns, as well as queries about the many ways athletes can fundraise to help bring down the cost of participating.”

A snapshot of some of the many sports still open for nominations until June 30.



Jean Paul de Marigny at work with Melbourne Victory.

Australia’s opens mens side is shaping as one of the most formidable, professionally run units taken to Israel, headed by former Socceroos Head of Delegation Phillip Wolanski, with Melbourne Victory assistant coach Jean Paul de Marigny to co-coach the side with Boris Seroshtan, Head Coach for the Football Victoria Institute.

“It continues a long tradition we have been privileged to have had, following the likes of (high profile mentors) Eddie Thompson, the late Ian Gray, Kimon Taliadoros and Mark Robertson coaching the side,” Wolanski said, adding that the team will boast talent from the A-League’s National Youth League level, and NSW and Victorian Premier Leagues.

“They’ve all indicated they’re keen and excited. Now the boys need to get on board and nominate.

“The 2017 team is going to be professionally run, with a great team and nothing will be spared to make it work.”

Trials will likely be held after the season, ideally in both Sydney and Melbourne.

On the Masters’ front, David Petrini will manage an over-35s side, while over-45s manager Jonathan Milner says the numbers are looking positive for another campaign under Hakoah legend Alex Robertson.

“For most of the guys this is their last chance to compete in a team sport at Maccabiah; many will take families. It’s the culmination of 40 odd years of playing soccer for Maccabi teams,” he says.



Swimming for Australia

Swimming for Australia

Swimming is one of the high profile events at Maccabiah, and although swimmers have until 31 December 2016 and Open Water swimmers have until 28 Feb 2017 to reach the qualifying times, they can only do so if they’ve registered before June 30.

With over 30 countries in the junior, opens and masters swimming field, it is one of the most fiercely contested Maccabiah events, held at the Wingate Pool, which was recently used for the European Short Course championships.

Headed by Olympic and Commonwealth Games coach John Rodgers, Australia’s swimmers will enjoy professional level preparation, which will also include more team clinics ahead of the Games than have previously been held.


Maccabiah netballers

Maccabiah netballers

Netball trials are slated for 30-31st July 2016 in Sydney, with Australia looking to defend the opens medal won in 2013, while looking to win back the junior title and win the first ever masters netball competition.

“High Performance Coach Donna Johanson from NSW, a professional coach from Sydney’s Northern Suburbs Association, will be leading the team and her expertise with NSW representative teams gives us great hope that this will be another gold winning team,” says opens manager Justine Sharbanee.

The Juniors will be coached by Suzie Mordech, who coached the 2009 junior girls to gold.



Australia will be looking for a much improved performance from 2013 and is calling on the country’s best cricketers to don the whites for the country in Israel next year.

Trials will not take place until the summer season has started, but a more important factor says team manager Jonathan Zimmet, is players’ form at their individual clubs.

“Key motivating factor for the team this year is to reach the finals after a disappointing campaign in 2013 where we missed out on a medal completely,” he said. “It will also be an exciting time as the USA (intends to) field a team for the first time in history.”



The open mens side will be in outstanding hands under the tutelage of former Melbourne Tigers boss and two-time NBL winner Alan Westover.

Harry Wrublewski, who brings a wealth of basketball experience from establishing the Sydney Kings with his brother Michael, says there is a huge opportunity to build on the talent seen when NSW played Victoria in the 2015 Maccabi 90th anniversary and encourages all those competitors to register in the next week.

“The level of competitiveness between NSW and VIC last year was fabulous. Imagine that competitiveness on the world stage, playing USA, Brazil & Israel,” he says.

On the junior front, Simon Giovannoni, an elite coach with Australian College of Basketball will take the junior boys squad, with tryouts commencing on Sunday 17 July in Melbourne.

There are already a handful of nominations for this high energy sport played on the soft sand on Israel’s iconic beaches.

Both male and female competitors interested in trialling are encouraged to nominate

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