Football focus on Wingate & Finchley
Under the stewardship of Chairman Aron Sharpe since 2006, Wingate & Finchley have flourished from a club languishing in Ryman League Division One North with just one youth team, to a club promoted to Ryman Premier status for the first time in its history, together with a thriving youth development structure.
The standard of football at Step 3 (Ryman Premier) Level is vastly different to the days when Wingate & Finchley could feature an all Jewish XI. However, the club has always kept its links with the Jewish community through hosting Maccabi Cup Finals, its near-total Jewish presence on the Board and Committee, upholding the tradition of not playing on Yom Kippur & Rosh Hashanah, together with various initiatives and fundraising for Jewish Charities.
In the background, the Club have relied upon its renowned youth development (all run voluntarily) to provide a pathway for the best Jewish talent.
This season in particular has seen the time invested come to fruition. Whilst more experienced players at non-league level such as Scott Shulton have excelled in a Wingate shirt, the likes of Adam Bolle, Josh Kennet, Jemal Fredericks, Joe Sharpe, Cain Davies, and Ryan Sellers have all become a regular feature of the first team squad, giving it a distinctly youthful look.
Both Sharpe and Sellers have been at the club for 10 years while other youngsters such as Scott Kashket, Ross Weinrebe, Josh Goldstein, Adam Gold have made the transition to the Club's U21 team who currently lie second in its first season in the Ryman U21 League.
On successive weekends this month Josh Kennet has scored crucial winning goals in 1-0 victories, at East Thurrock and at home to Bury Town, and these wins see the Club with a great chance of maintaining Ryman Premier status for a third season running - a remarkable achievement given the huge budget that every other club in the League can boast. Even at this level, money talks!
However, Wingate & Finchley continue to follow its ethos of attracting players by providing a family environment with one of the best playing surfaces and facilities outside of professional football and with strong Jewish talent, both on the pitch and behind the scenes, now beginning to make its mark once again, the future is bright.