REPORT FOR SEASON 2014/15
One year on from my last annual report, I have a huge feeling of deja vu. After reporting a poor 2013/14 season on the playing side, I can add very little positivity to summarise the campaign just passed. The First Team finished bottom of the lowest division for the second year running and the Old Boys Team finished one from last in their division.
I look at the Second Team's last two seasons under Terry Jeffries where they finished 6th and 7th respectively in Division Three, and I see that the backbone of that team still plays for our MGBSFL side. Added are a few ex-First XI players from when we were running two teams in the MGBSFL plus a few newcomers. I find it very disappointing that the team has struggled immensely again by finishing at the basement of the League.
Arguably the standard may have improved in the Third Division with the addition of some good teams but one main reason for the adverse season was that Jonathan Cohen was missing players in key positions. He lost his main goalkeeper midway through and undoubtedly required a Rob Benson or Ben Isaacs upfront. Having a 20-goals striker may well have made all the difference. But whatever the reasons are for another poor MGBSFL season and bearing in mind that 'just' four years ago the Firsts were celebrating the Second Division championship I cannot escape the fact that the last two seasons have been extremely disappointing.
JC kept a relatively decent bunch of players well organised and most of their matches were closely fought. With more luck and a few good additions, I am sure his fortunes will change. Generally speaking, there is very little I can add about our two teams' performances in their respective leagues; the objective here is to report the 2014/15 season rather than lambast Temple Fortune's results.
I suppose the one 'highlight' on the playing side was the Old Boys Team's unlucky semi-final in the Nathan Horwitz Division 2 Cup where a late equaliser by Glenthorne United, followed by a winner in added time, cruelly denied Howard Wallis's team a deserved Cup Final appearance. Other than that, the least I say about results the better.
One positive from the playing side was that discipline was satisfactory overall. It is hard not to forget the disciplinary trauma from the 2012/13 campaign where I had to deal with 60 cases of misconduct, the majority from a few bad apples in the First XI. So 11 cautions from 40 competitive matches between both teams this season was not too bad and better still, notably there were no sending offs.
But the Club is not solely about what happens on the field. Without the organisational infrastructure off
the field the matches themselves would not take place. JC and Howard (with much valued help from David Goldberg and Hilton Teper) helped to keep their respective teams ticking over and my sincere thanks go to them all for their continued commitment.
Away from the playing side, administration was smooth-running on the whole and a relatively adverse
weather-free season allowed us to complete both league programmes in sufficient time. Financially the Club has had a sound season too which will be reported later. I was pleased to see four Old Boys players celebrating long service milestones which fully merited their awards. Talking about milestones, next season will be the Club's 40th in Maccabi football more specifically in the MGBSFL which Temple Fortune first joined for season 1976/77. Gone are the teams who entered at the same time as we did, notably Bushey United and Glenthorne United being two of them. We have outlived every team since 1976 when it comes to unbroken participation and that includes the big guns such as Maccabi London Lions.
Rather than dwell on a poor playing season, I draw considerable strength from TFFC's continuing longevity. It's something to be extremely proud of. In life there is a good and bad side to everything and whilst 2014/15 will not be long remembered for results, it is another season out of the way as we head towards season number 40 of Sunday league involvement. A fantastic achievement indeed! In this respect, the First Team will be wearing the excellent yellow and red Ellis & Co shirts which appropriately carry the figure '40' in red above the TFFC crest. Onwards and upwards as we start planning for season 2015/16!
NIGEL KYTE, June 2015