Maccabi SA News

Long road to a coveted Maccabiah Medal

27 September 2017
Maccabi SA U16 Futsal team conquer strong opponents to win bronze medal after culmination of 18 month project in search of success at the 20th Maccabiah 2017

After a successful European Maccabi Games in Berlin 2015 (where both the Open and Masters Futsal teams won bronze medals) the U16 junior Maccabi Futsal team have now added another bronze medal to the cabinet after competing at the Maccabiah Games in Israel in July this year in a trying but successful campaign.

Ronen Cohen, Team Manager, said: “Many of the boys that were part of this U16 Futsal team that participated at this year’s Maccabiah started Maccabi Futsal together in 2009 where an ambitious was put in place to take a competitive team to Israel for the Games in 2017. Not only did we see this through, but we came back with a bronze medal to show for it.”

Having been drawn in a group with the likes of Great Britain, Italy and Hong Kong, the team managed to finish runners up in the group stages to Great Britain, who they narrowly lost to in the group stages with a score of  3 – 5 at full time. The team then unfortunately lost their grueling semi-final to eventual tournament winners, Israel, but managed to pick themselves up by beating Great Britain (who lost to Argentina in the other semi-finals) in the 3rd/4th playoff match 4 – 2, taking home the Bronze medal. Cohen added: “It was amazing to see how dedicated and professional the boys were leading up to and during the Games, their discipline and maturity were definitely a big contributing factor in winning the bronze.”

The team who were coached by Reon Siyaya were made up of nine boys from Cape Town and two boys from Johannesburg. They trained twice a week together for just over a year and a half, having conducted several training camps with regular fitness assessments to monitor their progress, following a holistic approach. “A huge thank you must go out to Gary Bieber and the District Six CrossFit team who took the boys for weekly fitness sessions, making us one of the fittest teams at the tournament and ultimately helping us win our bronze medal.” said Cohen

Maccabi Futsal are planning to send junior teams to Israel to compete at the Youth Maccabi Games in 2018, as well as sending junior, senior and masters teams to the 15th European Maccabi Games in Budapest in 2019. For more information contact futsal@maccabi.co.za

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