REPORT FOR SEASON 2005/06
In terms of judging whether or not Temple Fortune had a successful season, one only has to look at the playing summaries over the years to ascertain positive or negative records, ie. wins compared to defeats in all matches.
Of 27 completed seasons of running at least two teams, I could not find a single instance of more than one team enjoying positive records in the same season. Which makes season 2005/06 unique in that both the First XI and Old Boys XI finished with overall positive records. This is no mean achievement given that it has never happened before. It is easy to be critical of both teams possibly under-achieving in their respective divisions, but as Chairman I take a broader view of the Club as a whole, as I have always done.
All too often I have had to report poor seasons but not so this time. Infact for the second season in succession, the Club has done relatively well, albeit it was mainly the Firsts who excelled during the previous campaign. Agreed, our MSFL XI may have secured 3rd or 4th place in Division 3, instead of 6th. Sure, the Old Boys possibly could have grabbed the runners-up spot in the Masters Division 2. But both sides finished with satisfactory league records all told. Indeed, the Old Boys enjoyed a positive league summary for the first time in 8 Masters seasons which is not to be sneezed at, despite finishing 4th.
This time last year our MSFL team were homeless following the Childs Hill Park farce. We also lost several key players too with Marc Herman, Yali Mamouri and Gav Noe not rejoining and the Masters squad was by far strong in both numbers and potential. So it left us all unsure of our prospects for the 2005/06 campaign. The first signs that the gloom was lifting was when Lynne's persistence with the Councils for which I woulkd like to thank her paid off with the Club being allocated its first non-Barnet venue since 1977, Whitchurch Playing Fields in Harrow becoming our MSFL XI's new home location. Fortunately, several new players arrived and before long we were welcoming in the 2005/06 season with renewed optimism.
Although the Firsts meandered along comfortably under the new leadership team of Andy Montlake and Mike Kaye, the Old Boys Team was struggling and I recall having talks with both David Goldberg and Steve Feiger in October regarding a shortage of players. The 10-3 defeat against eventual Div.2 champions Brady was the lowest point, and I can best sum up the rest of the season by mentioning the subsequent three results against the same opposition... a narrow 0-1 defeat, a commendable 2-2 draw and a fantastic 4-3 win in the cup. Such progress coincided with more players becoming available and in complete contrast to the previous campaign, the Old Boys finished with a regular squad of 14 or 15 keen players which has been hugely uplifting for the side's immediate future.
The First Team held its own in their division after an indifferent start and finished on a relative high, winning four games in a row without conceding a goal a new Club record before falling in the Minor Cup quarter-final. Both teams' management units have done well to sustain progress and I would like to congratulate them together with other influential characters such as Garry Simpson, Simon Allen and Steve Feiger.
Another plus during the season was an improvement on the disciplinary side as the General Secretary will report and I am delighted that the MSFL XI took third place in the Sportsmanship/Turn-out Trophy out of 60 teams, a competition our Second Team actually won several years ago. We shouldn't forget that two years ago, the Firsts had 9 players sent off in that season and we were hauled up before the MSFL Committee to discuss the Club's disciplinary situation. The fact that this has improved over the past two seasons has been extremely pleasing, so well done again to the management teams for keeping things in check.
This Club has a history going back to 1968, as proudly shown for all to see on our comprehensive website, and no doubt you will be well aware that the 2005/06 season was Temple Fortune's 30th of participation in the MSFL. No other club can boast this record of continuous membership under the same title and I am extremely proud of this excellent achievement. So much so, that a plan to commemorate 30 years of Maccabi involvement has come to fruition in the form of two splendidly striking playing kits which will reflect the Club's original league colours of green and white. The two kits will be unveilled on Sunday 3rd September at what I have called a 'gala morning' of football involving our two squads.
I intend to present the trophies for season 2005/06 at this innovative event. Possibly it made the dinner surplus to requirements and I was forced to cancel it with reluctance due to a poor reponse and trophy recipients being unable to attend anyway. If we are to reinstate the dinner next season, we require far better planning and early organisation.I will conclude my report by thanking everyone for their support, commitment and efforts over yet another season for this fantastic Club. 30 years in Maccabi football and still going strong."
NIGEL KYTE, June 2006