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Maccabi-Hakoah journey is a family affair

THE ongoing connections and available developmental pathways between Hakoah FC – which plays in the men’s State League One and State Youth League Two boys’ competitions – and Maccabi-Hakoah Junior Football Club, which enters MiniRoos, and junior boys and girls teams in the Eastern Suburbs Football Association’s winter season – are getting stronger each year. Just ask the Reid family. Father of four, Mark Reid, proudly recalls playing football for Maccabi when he was growing up, all the way to seniors in the Easts comp. While not playing this season for the club’s masters squad, he did represent Australia in the over-45 men’s football competition at the 2022 Maccabiah Games in Israel and since then he has become Hakoah FC board’s sponsorship committee chair. His eldest son Joshua, 18, played football for Maccabi right through his school years. Mark’s younger sons – 11-year-old Jesse, 14-yearold Ethan and 17-year-old Bailey – are all playing for Hakoah FC in 2024 and Maccabi-Hakoah juniors have played a key part in the latter two’s success now at State Youth League Two level. Jesse is in his fourth consecutive year with Hakoah FC and about to start his first match this Saturday in their U12 SAP squad. For Ethan and Bailey, it’s been a longer, but no less rewarding, road to play for Hakoah FC again, after not retaining their spots in earlier State Youth League squads after completing their SAP playing years. Both had stints playing grassroots football for Maccabi-Hakoah juniors in recent years, to further develop their skills and gain maximum game time. That commitment and perseverance paid off this pre-season, when Ethan made Hakoah FC’s U15 squad and Bailey their U18 squad, gaining the opportunity to play in the State League Youth Two competition, which enters round three this Saturday. Mark told The AJN, “We’ve always been a sporty family and share a love of playing football, so it’s special that we’ve shared this connection with Maccabi and Hakoah all the way through and I get so much pleasure out of watching the boys play for Hakoah now. “There’s such a community spirit at both clubs, which retain their proud Jewish foundations – it’s why I got involved with them in the first place, it’s why I went to the Maccabiah Games and why I’m proud to still play a role for Hakoah.” He added, he is particularly proud of they way that Ethan and Bailey accepted the need to return to the Easts comp with MaccabiHakoah Junior FC, when reaching the U13 age group initially with Hakoah and embraced that challenge. Mark said it is just one example of the developmental benefits that have emerged in the last five years from a formal partnership arrangement between Maccabi and Hakoah, with both clubs – at Easts district and State level respectively – featuring the name “MaccabiHakoah” on their team kits and official logos. “More than that, there’s now real linkages in a football sense between the two clubs, with a pathway system in place, as well as a pathway program within Hakoah FC itself, which is really important for the future.”

SOURCE: AJN

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