REPORT FOR SEASON 2006/07
Season 2006/07 has been one of the Club's best for many years. Both teams had been challenging at the top of their respective divisions, and both finished with positive win/loss records. Our Masters XI were runners-up in Division 2 whilst the MSFL XI lost out on the same achievement merely on goal difference. However, I will turn to the playing side of the Club later.
The season commenced with the Club celebrating 30 years in Maccabi football, In a fitting move to commemorate Temple Fortune's inaugural league season in 1976/77, we returned to our original league colours, with a splendid modern version of green and white sponsored by Gary Bekhor. This was the first instance where one sponsor had kitted out 2 teams at the same time and our grateful thanks go to Gary for his generous sponsorship.
The kits were unveiled at the Gala Morning event held at Hillingdon Borough FC on 3rd September 2006. The occasion incorportaed a pre-season friendly between our teams and the presentation of awards for the previous season, with food and drink thown in with the compliments of the Club. Although pro-Club Dinner supporters would have been disappointed that we had to cancel the proposed Dinner just before the World Cup commenced, I am sure that nobody would disagree that the Gala Morning was hugely successful. 34 players attended, more than had ever attended a Club Dinner in the past.
The event confirmed that the recipe of football, awards, food and drink on a Sunday morning is far preferable to the hit and miss concept of end-of-season summertime evening Club Dinners. The absence of too many trophy recipients had the 2006/07 awards event gone ahead on 10th June, plus the success of the Gala Morning, were the reasons why I switched the function to the start of next season. I trust that the event on 2nd September 2007 will be just as successful as last year's corresponding occasion.
The website featured the 30 years commemoration theme considerably which made the move from yellow and red to green and white all the smoother. Changing traditional colours after 20 years was not to be taken lightly and I believe that the Club gave the occasion admirable credence thanks mainly to the Gala Morning event and website.
Now back to the playing side of the Club. The First Team started well enough but endured a slump which threatened to induce a relegation struggle. However, the team's recovery seemed to coincide with the arrival of Ben Isaacs, whose contribution proved to be a vital importance. He deservedly went on to win the Player of the Year award and finished as leading goalscorer as well, a fine personal double in his first season with the Club. The Firsts became a tough, dogged side which was hard to beat, as a number of 1-0 victories emphasised.
A healthy mixture of youth and experience ensured a remarkable recovery which saw the team frustratingly miss out on the runners-up spot only only goal difference. But given the team's plight near the bottom early on, we all would have settled for a position of mid-table stability come the end of the season. The First Team did very well all told and my congratulations go to Garry Simpson and Mike Kaye for managing the team so well. Sadly, Mike's cruciate knee injury is a big blow to the Club and we wish him a speedy recovery.
The Old Boys enjoyed their best Masters campaign since we first ventured into the MMFL in 1999, as proud founder members. Bringing in David Summer, Graham Meyer and Robert Botkai into the Old Boys fold helped fill key positions and made the team more balanced. Winning the first 7 league matches placed the Old Boys top of Division 2, a position they held when completing their final fixture in April. Only the points which London Maccabi Lion 'B' took from their remaining 2 fixtures prevented what would have been the Club's first championship success since 1986.
However, beating LML 'B' in the first league fixture was the highlight of the season. One should not underestimate the advantage which the Lions enjoy by having a large squad with very good players at their disposal. Just by dropping key 'A' players here and there helped them collect vital points. Which makes Temple Fortune's challenge throughout the season all the more remarkable. The title hinged on the return fixture which through misfortune more than anything didn't go Fortune's way.
All in all, the Old Boys were very unfortunate to miss out on a deserved title, but finishing as runners-up for the second time in 3 seaons was a splendid achievement. Heartiest congratulations to Nick Waitsman and David Goldberg for their sound management, plus the players for their title challenge and also for winning the Ralph Epstein Memorial Trophy for the 12th timedouble the number won by Bushey.
Administratively, the Club ran very well, tightening up with income collecting considerably. The use of preprinted collection envelopes, albeit in need of modification for next season, and accurate records in Microsoft Excel improved efficiency to a large extent. Matchday admin was improved with reduced fines and onfield discipline was satisfactory. The Management Committee did well overall and my thanks to all serving officers for their valued contribution. Since this report covers 2006/07 I have refrained from commenting upon next season and would ask officers to do the same in their reports until later during the meeting.
So, to sum up, season 2006/07 was most memorable and an appropriate way to commemorate 30 years in Maccabi football by Temple Fortune Football Club, the MSFL's longest running current club and still one of the best run.
NIGEL KYTE, June 2007