AFTER a gruelling pre-season, at least four Jewish players are primed to light up the National Premier League Victoria in 2019, which kicks off this Valentines Day weekend.
Darby Dexter – Brunswick City Soccer Club (NPL2 VIC West)
The Jewish trio at Hume City has been broken up, with Dexter’s defection to northern suburbs club Brunswick City as one of their summer singings.
The 22 year-old central defender originally signed with South Melbourne for the 2018 season, before transferring across to Hume where he played 15 games alongside Gidi Sweet and Bradley Blumenthal.
Brunswick City, a club who places strong emphasis on community, received their NPL licence in 2014 and currently ply their trade in NPL2 West.
“Brunswick felt like the right move because it just seemed to be the right fit for where I am at,” Dexter told The AJN.
“My ambitions and the club’s were aligned, as were the style of football and our goals for the season. It’s a really exciting project to be apart of.
“I have settled in really well. I have felt respected and valued from the first day and the guys are a lot of fun.”
Having missed his fair share of football over recent years due to injury, you’d forgive Dexter for tempering his expectations, but that’s clearly not the case.
“A few focusses for this year for me. Stay injury free, get the club promoted and knock in some headers. Five plus maybe. I’m raring to go.”
The former Melbourne City youth team member and Football Technique School product will provide Brunswick with a strong and skilful defensive option in 2019.
Brunswick City kick off their campaign on Saturday away against North Geelong Warriors FC.
Gidi Sweet & Bradley Blumenthal – Hume City FC (NPL VIC)
Sweet and Blumenthal have proven to be a dynamic duo for Hume since joining the club at the start of 2018.
A testament to the unifying nature of football, the Jewish pair have brought a unique flavour to a league dominated by the Greeks, Italians and Croatians.
The Mount Scopus graduates who began their career with North Caulfield Maccabi, have continued breaking down cultural barriers to play the sport they love, now calling Hume City home, a club with rich Turkish history who plays out of ABD Stadium in Broadmeadows.
Sweet, a powerful and experienced left back, played all but one game in his debut season for Hume, after joining the club from Hakoah FC in Sydney, where he led the Jewish club to the final 16 of the FFA Cup. He’s had previous stints with NPL clubs Dandenong Thunder, Richmond SC and Oakleigh Cannons.
Blumenthal, an exciting winger/striker was somewhat of a surprise packet for Hume in 2018, lining up in all 26 games and netting four goals.
He joined City from North Caulfield Maccabi where he finished inside the top 10 of the State League 1 SE’s best and fairest on the back of an 11-goal season, which included a purple patch of five goals in six games.
The pair will be focused on helping Hume rise up the ladder after a disappointing 2018 campaign.
Alon Blumgart – Dandenong Thunder FC (NPL VIC)
The former Melbourne Heart youth team member returned to the Thunder in 2017 after a short stint in 2013.
The 26 year-old central midfielder made an immediate impression upon his return, playing a vital role in the club’s promotion from NPL2 East in 2017, scoring five goals in 25 games including the sealer in the grand final.
In 2018, Blumgart found the back of the net on four occasions from 23 appearances.
An experienced campaigner on the NPL scene, Blumgart has had previous playing stints at FC Bulleen Lions, Green Gully SC, FC Bendigo, Southern Stars, Heidelberg United and Altona Magic.
Blumgart will face fellow Jewish players Sweet and Blumenthal when the Thunder open their season at home against Hume City on Saturday night.