THE AJAX Football Club has returned to action for the first time in 2013, with three teams facing off against Beaumaris sides in practice matches under the guidance of new coaches.
Leigh McQuillen made his coaching debut with the seniors, which matched Beaumaris’s A-grade side for most of the game.
With nine regulars missing from the line-up, the Jackas saw the return of veteran Ari Lewski, alongside Nick Marks, Josh and Ben Kalmus, Matt Nissen, Josh Ludski and Richie Simon, who all missed significant portions of last season.
Marks and Ludski impressed McQuillen in the opening hit-out of the year, as did Eugene Routman, Michael Shafar, Jarryd Ludksi and Jason Tendler.
The Reserves side also hit the field for the first time with David La Salla in charge, and the intensity, desperation and teamwork initialled by the coach through the off-season was on display.
Adam Sacks’ under-19s showed plenty of potential against a quality opposition, with a strong and healthy list set for a big year ahead.
In other news, the club has confirmed that its Thirds team will play eight games throughout the season on Sundays to cater for Orthodox players.
“AJAX has been able to achieve a wonderful outcome for the Jewish community of Melbourne,” president Ian Fayman told The AJN.
“Being the only Jewish football club, the committee wanted to try to cater for the whole community.”
It will be the first time in history that religious footballers will have the opportunity to represent the senior club.
“This is an amazing result, and it means so much to the Orthodox community,” religious player Zev Aron added.
“It means that we can finally play football at a competitive level again, which most never thought was possible, and the response from the Orthodox community has been overwhelming.”