REPORT FOR SEASON 2010/11
A lot of hard work has gone into this Club and it has been finally rewarded with tangible success. The winning of the MSFL Second Division championship is Temple Fortune's first divisional title for 25 years. In that time we have enjoyed a few promotions and two Masters League runners-up finishes but nothing as exciting and rewarding as this!
However, I will commence my review of the 2010/11 season with the Old Boys Team. Our Masters team huffed and puffed through a Division 2 campaign of mixed fortunes. Good performances were followed by bad and one never knew which Old Boys team would show up, such was their inconsistency. With a limited squad at his disposal, David Goldberg had to make full use of the guest player system, which, although far from ideal, at least enabled the Old Boys to field a team and no doubt helped towards achieving some decent results.
Highlights include beating London Maccabi Lions for only the second time in about 10 years, Brady twice, South Mancs and even bogey side Norstar.With the mixed league form came a run to the Division 2 Cup semi-final, if you can call a quarter-final win on penalties against Ashlodge a run! The capitulation in the second half of the semi-final against the Lions probably summed up the season on the whole disappointing and the team had to be content with finishing half way in Division 2. Still, the purpose is to provide Masters football for our more senior members and that we have achieved for a record 13th season. No other club has played in every Masters season since the League began in 1999.
The very next day following last year's AGM, Simon Allen phoned me to spring the surprise that reforming the Second Team was a distinct possibility. To make this reality, I had to put a plan into action which included Gavin Levy quickly securing the financial commitment of players so that an application could be sent to the MSFL. It was all rush rush but somehow we got there and Gavin and Rob Jay were given the green light to run the revived Second Team. To their credit, they put in a lot of work to ensure that everything was in place come September. The Club has always been prudent in sound decision-making and the Second Team's reformation was a welcomed and progressive move.
In a tough Division 4, Gavin's team a mixture of former First Team players and some younger newcomers found life difficult and eventually finished 11th with only habitual strugglers Pinner below them. There were a few good league results, like beating North West Neasden and Blizzard Storm, but too many defeats pushed the team near the bottom of the table. Yet that did not do justice to the commitment and effort put in by the team, which lost an incredible nine matches by just a single goal, including five by 1-0. The Seconds simply did not enjoy the rub of the green in all too many games, none more so than in the Barry Goldstein Trophy semi-final where Faithfold 'C' rode their luck to deny the Seconds a Cup Final appearance at Wingate. That said, the Second Team trebled the number of cup ties won since the original formation in 1979.
Temple Fortune 'B' were the lowest ranked team in the competition yet pulled off two excellent wins against Third Division opposition. All in all, I would say that the Second Team had an interesting season irrespective of their lowly league position, and full marks must go to Gavin and Rob for running the team so well.
Moving onto the First Team, their marvelous success has been well chronicled on the TFFC website with two articles and interviews and also on the recently distributed commemorative DVD. There were several similarities with this championship win and the one 25 years previously. Winning the opening 10 fixtures, losing the 11th match, pulling back a large points deficit thanks to having games in hand, losing several weeks due to snow and ice and finally winning the title by 4 points all mirrored the 1985/86 team.
During the course of the season, the Firsts beat the three main title rivals Brixton, Norstar and Woodford and despite losing the returns in each case our team dropped fewer points against the remaining teams. One major highlight was defeating Premier Division Hendon United 'A' 3-2 in the Peter Morrison Trophy, one of the Club’s best giant-killing results ever. The First Team gave both North London Raiders and North West Neasden 'B', also two Premier teams, close cup ties before losing 4-2 and 1-0 respectively. But it was the League which really mattered and Fortune secured the championship by beating Faithfold 'B' 3-0 in a tense match at The Hive in March. I watched the remaining 20 minutes and shared in the team’s joy at winning the title, an occasion I will not forget in a hurry.
Full credit must go to the management team of Andy, Lee and Mike, plus of course the team itself who were deserving champions. The icing on the cake was Scott Shindler winning the MSFL Division 2 Player of the Year, which retained the trophy for the Club won by Rob Benson a year previously. A memorable season for the First Team and Club as a whole which concludes my report on the playing side.
Adminwise, overall the season ran smoothly. I will summarise the Club's administration in detail under various categories in the General Secretary's report next. Finally, I will conclude my report by thanking everyone Officers and members alike for their involvement and valued contribution towards a successful 2010/11 season.
NIGEL KYTE, June 2011