The JC Olim League, created by Olim communities around Israel, got underway this
week. The league is comprised of nine teams with Jewish footballers from all
over the globe.
This summer saw three new teams enter the league, and the
preseason anxiousness finally ended as the league kicked off on Saturday night
in Tel Aviv and Ashdod.
Playing at the Tel Aviv University pitch, league
veterans Jaffa FC easily won a home match against new boys Aviv City FC
Aviv City got off to the better start with some promising attacks
thwarted by a strong Jaffa backline. However, the match turned midway through
the first half when Josh Berkeley broke the deadlock for Jaffa with a strong
strike from the edge of the area.
This was swiftly followed with another
from Josh and a third goal from Rannie Madmon following a great run down the
left from Elias Sandler. Madmon blotted his copybook, however, with a bad tackle
injuring Sagi Meged of Aviv City and earning him a yellow card.
continued where it left off in the second half with an early penalty placed in
the corner by Josh Berkeley.
At four goals up, Jaffa relaxed and started
to spread the ball around beautifully with Tito Elias and Stephen Caffrey
controlling the game. It wasn’t long until Berkeley put Jaffa up
Caffrey rounded off the scoring for Jaffa late in the game with a
goal from the edge of the box.
Aviv City did not give up, as Roy Morik
scored a cracker with the last kick of the game for Aviv’s first-ever league
goal and a confidence booster for the next game.
Thirty miles south,
other newcomers Ashdod established themselves as a force to be reckoned with by
humbling Jerusalem – last season’s runners up – 6-1.
“Credit to Ashdod,
they are a well organized, cohesive unit,” said Jerusalem FC’s Richard Patter.
“However, the score line does not reflect the many chances we
It was a learning experience but with the strong characters we
have in our team, I’m sure we’ll bounce back.”
Next weekend, current
champions England FC take on the newly merged Modi’in and Beit Shemesh team, as
well as the league’s first Northern Israel derby of Netanya vs Ra’anana.