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Club Revels in Historic Pennant

Posted: 08-Sep-2015 by Tennis

Grade 3 Premiers L to R: Asaf Nagar (captain), Assaf Drori, Arthur Kaganovitch, Jarred Krowitz, Joel Fredman and Robert Minc.

There is a renewed sense of optimism around the Club after Saturday's Grade 3 Pennant Grand Final victory. Many believe that this can inspire this talented team to more success, but also that the winning mentality and team culture can only have a positive effect on the Club's other teams and rising junior stars.

Pennant Secretary Adam Needleman reflected on a "terrific result for the Club," saying that "to win this is a shot in the arm for the Club, which already has a reputation as a top 10 tennis club [in Victoria]."

"Maccabi has won only two winter Pennants in over ten years. To win a Pennant, a team must win four incredibly tough knock out finals. Teams from all over Victoria compete at each level. For us to win and at such a high level has not yet sunk in. We are definitely entrenched as a club in the top echelon of tennis in Victoria."

Needleman said that the promotion to Grade 2 would help the Club retain its top young players and also attract other talented Jewish juniors.

"A club must be able to provide a standard that is relevant to the elite players . We have a number of incredibly talented juniors that work so hard on their game. I was starting to worry that they may progress to a level beyond what the Club could offer. This will enable Maccabi Tennis to attract the one or possibly two Jewish players that play for other clubs at this high level," he said.

The leadership of captain Asaf Nagar and great time spirit was pivotal to their success, according to Needleman.

"For a team to succeed, it obviously must have the talent but it must be well captained. Asaf Nagar did a tremendous job managing his list and encouraging the whole squad to practice with him."

"Doubles is also an important element for any team to master to get that Pennant. Our guys loved playing for each other and the Club. This can not be understated."

Reflecting on the effect of the Pennant win, Needleman pointed to the example of one of the team's shining lights, 15-year-old Arthur Kaganovitch.

"Arthur has blazed a path that now shows is possible to follow. Last year, Arthur was playing in Grade 8 with some success. He loves his tennis and plays five times a week. Rarely does a player move from Grade 8 to Grade 3 successfully. In fact I did not think it was possible. Arthur proved otherwise."

"There are a few juniors who have watched Arthur as they were in his junior team and they are desperately trying to emulate his efforts. The fact that juniors are not only progressing to adult tennis but doing so with so much enthusiasm bodes well for the Club."

Club Life Member and former President Clive Fredman, whose son Joel played in the winning team, said that "winning any Pennant is a great achievement for a tennis Club."

"To play in Grade 2 in 2016 is a great incentive for the current players. The tragic loss of Paul Arber, nearly two years ago, was a huge shock to the Maccabi Tennis community, and has served as a stimulus to the players and pupils who are rapidly rising up the ranks, within [the Club]."

Fredman also paid tribute to Nagar's leadership and said it was "a great plus" to have players of the calibre of Nagar and Drori, representing Maccabi.

 

MARCUS FRAJMAN

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