England Unveils Strengthened Squad for Olim World Cup

Will they emulate their professional namesakes and crash out early?

David Bernstein

England’s five-a-side squad, to be led by player-manager Motti Colman, has been selected for next month’s Olim World Cup in Tel Aviv. The squad features a number of new and young players who will be hoping to better last year’s performance, when Italy ousted the team on penalties in the last 16. 

The Olim World Cup will take place over two months beginning June 12, featuring 24 countries.

The England squad, drawn from Olim League team players, consists of Jerusalem FC’s Gav Cohen, Lollu Hibbert, Moishe Lewis and Zack Lewis; Rob Bradman of Aviv City; England FC’s Motti Colman, Nicky Plotnek and Sam Sank; Yishai Last and Josh Lipman of Hendon A, and FC Jaffa’s Sam Silverberg.

Coach Colman noted the very high standard of competition in the Ghetton tournament. “Last year’s tournament featured former professionals from the top league here in Israel, as well as many players from the Israeli national Futsal team,” he explained. “It is a very tough competition played in stifling heat.”

Colman attributed England’s tendency to crash out in the later rounds to availability of players rather than team performance. “We are hoping that if we stay together throughout the event this year, we stand a very good chance of going further than before,” he said.

The addition of Cohen, Sank, Zack Lewis and Josh Lipman makes England a better side than last year, according to the coach. He said he considers Lipman one of the finest amateurs in Israel, while Sank “has emerged as one of the best defenders in the Olim League this year.” He called Cohen “probably the toughest opponent I have personally come up against in the last two seasons,” and praised Lewis for having “an incredible eye for goal.”

Yishai Last, a prolific scorer for Hendon who is immigrating to Israel in July, “would be a fantastic addition,” if England can last that long, said Colman.