TFFC THIS SEASON – an intro
TFFC are the longest-running club in the MGBSFL, having participated continuously under the same name since 1976. After the success of last season, the 2017/18 campaign has been difficult to say the least. Running two MGBSFL teams for the first time since 2014 was a fresh challenge approached with relish, having signed up a sizeable squad. But a poor start followed by availability issues left both the A and B teams struggling. The club had to forfeit a record five fixtures between the teams.
Thankfully, however, TFFC has a sound management structure and key personnel all pulling together enabled players from both teams to integrate successfully. The knock-on effect has been Temple Fortune winning three hard ties in the Barry Goldstein Trophy to reach the Club's second final in this competition.
Under the continued leadership of chairman Nigel Kyte, who was one of the original founders, the Club has a brilliant MGBSFL management team of Simon Linden, Lee Fegan, Darren Zitren and Steven Black, who will be involved next season.
Being here at Rowley Lane this evening has turned a poor season into possibility one to be remembered if Fortune are fortunate enough to lift their first ever knock-out cup. With TFFC's Golden Anniversary just around the corner this year, that would spark amazing celebrations!
LEE FEGAN (Goalkeeper). Date of birth: 01/02/1983. Long-serving defender turned goalkeeper who joined the club in 2007. Fegan has made over 200 appearances and was a member of the Division Two title-winning squad in 2011. He holds the record of five consecutive clean sheets and was also part of the runners-up squad last season. Penalty-saving hero of the quarter-final against Real Hendon.
JOEL CARLOWE (Goalkeeper). Date of birth: 07/10/1999. 18-year-old schoolboy Joel (whose father played for the club in the mid-80s) joined the Seconds in January 2018. He is currently the 1st X1 ‘keeper for Haberdashers’ Aske’s School and is preparing for his A-Levels. This is Carlowe’s first season playing in men’s football and was the hero of the semi-final victory, saving three spot kicks.
ADAM SPECK (Defender). Date of birth: 08/04/1980. 'Specky' is Fortune's experienced First Team captain and joined the club in 2016/17 from North London Raiders Masters. In his first season at the club, Speck led the team to promotion from Division Two. Captain marvel is a true leader and walks the walk! He leads by example and is very much a key figure for TFFC.
DAVID BROWN (Defender) - Date of birth: 19/08/1980. Brown only signed for Temple Fortune in January, joining the club from final opponents Faithfold, but he has certainly made a difference in his short time at the club. Brown has played a huge part in the cup run success.
LEE HYAMS (Defender). Date of birth: 11/09/1978. Former Faithfold and Scrabble defender amongst many clubs, Hyams joined Fortune in August 2017 and has been a key figure in defence for the First Team. He brings a lot of experience to the team and is as cool as a pickled cucumber on the ball. A player that most wingers dread coming up against.
ROBERT JAY (Defender) - Date of Birth 09/05/1983. One of the longest-serving players in the squad, Jay joined the club in 2005. He has made more than 200 appearances and was a member of the Division Two title-winning squad in 2011 and runners-up squad last season. He is nicknamed Rob ‘Ever Reliable’ Jay as he will never let you down, and you can always count on him to do a sound job.
JOSH KLEPPER (Defender). Date of birth: 12/06/1995. This is Klepper’s second season with the club. A mainstay in defence for the Second Team, he brings height, physicality and composure to the back-line.
DANIEL VANDERMOLEN (Defender). Date of birth: 01/06/1994. Vandermolen first made his name playing for Simon Linden as a 16-year-old and scoring a crucial promotion-winning goal for Blizzard Storm a few years ago. Following on from four years at university, he is now back as a strong commanding centre-back and has a big part to play in Fortune’s future plans.
GIDEON WETRIN (Defender). Date of birth: 18/06/1973. Another long-serving member of TFFC, Wetrin first made his debut as far back as 2001. He has played many games for both the Firsts and Seconds over the years and can now ply his footballing trade in Masters football. With over 260 appearances for the club, he is famous for his huge throw-ins and tenacious tacking. Ever dependable although mainly from the subs bench this season.
CONOR BRAND (Defender/midfielder). Date of birth: 12/08/1991. Brand is a defender turned midfielder, and even had a stint up-front against FC Team in the semi-final. In his first season with the club, he is an action-packed ball-winner and always one pencilled in on the team-sheet when available.
GAB STONE (Defender/midfielder). Date of birth: 01/01/1983. Stone joined the club in August 2016 and was part of the team that won promotion to Division One last season. Stone is in contention to win the Leading Appearances award, having played in every First Team game this season. Fully committed and has endless amount of energy, he is nicknamed the ‘Marathon Man’ and loves providing pictures of this treadmill exploits!
STEVEN BLACK (Midfielder). Date of birth: 18/10/1988. Joining Temple Fortune from L’Equipe, Scotsman Black is this season’s Second Team assistant-manager, working with Darren Zitren. A wide midfielder with an eye for goal, he brings passion and hard work to the side. He will also form part of the management team next season when Fortune return to one MGBSFL team.
SIMON COHEN (Midfielder). Date of birth: 17/12/1992. Cohen joined the club in August 2017 and has been a mainstay in the Second Team this season. A tricky winger, Cohen is comfortable on both feet and can be a nightmare to defend against.
MICHAEL GOLDBERG (Midfielder). Date of birth: 25/12/1989. Goldberg joined Fortune in 2009/10 and was a member of the Division Two title-winning squad of 2011 and runners-up squad last season. Goldberg is the TFFC Party Liaison as he loves a good social. Out through injury this season, he has racked up a total of 200 seconds of playing time in the BGT and is yet to touch the ball.
SIMON LINDEN (Midfielder). Date of birth: 17/07/1981. Team manager who joined Fortune in May 2015 and led the First Team to the runners-up spot in Division Two in his first season. Linden was formerly the Blizzard Storm manager for seven seasons and has made several appearances for the Firsts this season. He is one of the best tacticians in MGBSFL football and never leaves a stone unturned with his detailed and thorough team talks.
GAB SAUL (Midfielder). Date of birth: 29/07/1983. Saul joined the club in August 2017 from Hendon United Sports Club and is the current captain of the Second Team. A box-to-box midfielder, he brings a wealth of experience to the side and is a popular member of the dressing room.
DECLAN SPIRO (Midfielder). Date of birth: 13/02/1993. Spiro joined the club in August 2017 and has been one of the stand-out performers for the Second Team this season. A creative attacking midfielder, he can play anywhere across the forward positions.
BRETT STEAD (Midfielder). Date of birth: 23/05/1985. Stead first joined the club in 2011/12, the season after Fortune had won the Division Two title. He has played in every position for the club and is also nicknamed the ‘Utility Man’. Stead, who won’t give you more than a second on the ball if you come up against him. Has been one of the most consistent players for the club, a true ‘100 per center’ and is a former 1st XI Player of the Year.
JACOB KALMS (Midfielder). Date of birth: 20/11/1992. Kalms joined the club in August 2017 and has been one of the standout performers for the Second Team this season. A tough-tackling defensive midfielder, Kalms netted in the Second Team’s fixture against Faithfold B in February.
MIKE WOOLF (Midfielder). Date of birth: 30/09/1980. ‘Woolfy’ joined the club in August 2016 and was also part of the team that won promotion from Division Two last season. He pulls the strings in the central midfield – do not be put off by his mature looks as he has got bags of energy and never shies away from a tackle. Woolf has recently declared that he will shave off his big beard if Temple Fortune lift the Barry Goldstein Trophy!
DARREN ZITREN (Midfielder). Date of birth: 02/07/1987. Zitren joined the club in 2013 and returned to Fortune after spells with Blizzard Storm and North London Raiders. He has been the Second Team manager this season and plays in a wide midfield position.
AMI WYNBOURNE (Midfielder/striker). Date of birth: 11/09/1979. Ami is another player who brings bags of experience to the Fortune team, since he has been there, done it and won a few trophies over the years. He has played at a very good standard and has been used upfront by Simon and also as a wide midfielder where he has been effective in the BGT so far.
LLOYD BECKER (Striker). Date of birth: 14/06/1977. Experienced offensive midfielder or striker who has played for Faithfold and Chigwell Masters amongst his numerous clubs. Becker scored two goals in the quarter-final against Real Hendon at SJP but missed the semi-final due to playing for Chigwell in a losing Masters semi.
GIDEON CAPLIN (Striker). Date of birth: 05/01/1993. Caplin joined the club in January 2018 and has impressed on numerous Second Team outings. Quick, direct and strong on the ball, Caplin is adept as a winger or as the focal point of attack.
During the mid-1960’s, a group of friends met every Sunday morning for kick-abouts at Princes Park, a small park in Temple Fortune, NW11. Around the autumn of 1968, a few members of the group split away to start up a team named Princes Park. On December 28 the same year, four other players, namely Michael Rook, Robert Silverstone and brothers Nigel and Peter Kyte, decided to form their own team.
The young foursome called the new side Temple Fortune Town. TFT, as the team was affectionately known, took part in small-sided matches to begin with. The first 11-a-side match was played on October 25, 1970 at Hampstead Heath, where TFT beat Princes Park Juniors 12–4.
In 1971, the name was shortened to Temple Fortune and a set of yellow shirts was bought from Pullens of Temple Fortune Parade for only £14!
Temple Fortune continued to play the occasional friendly match but towards the end of the 1972/73 season, the idea was for the Club to progress into proper league football.
In June 1973, founders Nigel and Peter Kyte held a meeting to decide whether or not the team should join the MSFL for season 1973/74. A split vote defeated the proposal just prior to the MSFL's AGM. Because of this setback, Temple Fortune went into a decline which saw the Club stagnate for a couple of years, playing very few games.
However, on February 18, 1976, the Club was revived by the forming of a new management committee. Temple Fortune completed the 1975/76 season by playing five friendlies, three of them against existing MSFL teams. Winning four and drawing one, this encouraging start paved the way towards a successful application being submitted to join the MSFL for the 1976/77 season.
At the Club's first AGM at the Alyth Youth Club in June 1976, Nigel Kyte was elected as chairman, an office he still holds to this day, whilst Peter Kyte took on the role of General Secretary in which he remained for the next 15 years.
Affiliating to the London Football Association, Temple Fortune purchased a new green and white kit and were allocated Parliament Hill Playing Fields for home matches in the inaugural league season. The first historic league match was played on September 5th, 1976 against fellow-newcomers Bushey United.
In the next season, the Club were allocated its first Barnet Council pitch at West Hendon Playing Fields where five seasons were spent. TFFC quickly progressed sufficiently enough to be able to form a 2nd XI which entered the MSFL in 1979/80.
The First XI enjoyed two promotions and took part in the Premier Division for the first time in 1981/82, spending three seasons there. In 1982, the Club again moved to a new home venue, this time at Bethune Park in Friern Barnet. Three years later, TFFC returned to yellow shirts – the Club's original shirt colours – and added red shorts; these colours have remained ever since and are now part of the Club's identity.
Temple Fortune’s teams have had a rather yoyo experience in MSFL football, moving up and down the divisions with a fair degree of regularity. The Club won the Second Division championship in season 1985/86 and two years later the 1st XI returned to the Premier Division for another three-year stint. Gary Hyams was named Premier Division Footballer of the Year - the League’s top individual player's award.
An Old Boys XI was set up in June 1994 which continued to play a series of friendlies for several years to follow. In 1997, Temple Fortune left Bethune Park after 15 years due to declining standards there. The Club were allocated Childs Hill Park and West Hendon Playing Fields for the 1997/98 season. Also in 1997, the 2nd XI was reformed after an absence of six years, playing friendlies during the 1997/98 season prior to rejoining the MSFL for the 1998/99 campaign.
At the end of their first season back, the Seconds gained promotion and won the MSFL's prestigious Ron Saunders Sportsmanship/Turnout Memorial Trophy, a fitting testimony for the typical excellent organisation traditionally enjoyed by the Club in general.
During the summer of 1999, Temple Fortune became founder members of the Maccabi Masters Football League, having run an Old Boys for six years. Temple Fortune Old Boys took part in MMFL football for the first time on October 17, 1999.
For season 2005/06, the Club acquired a new home venue – at Whitchurch Playing Fields in Stanmore under Harrow Council – to replace Childs Hill Park. A year later, another enforced move took the Club further afield to Hatch End Playing Fields on the Uxbridge Road in Pinner.
For the first time since 1987, a Temple Fortune player won a MSFL Player of the Year award, thanks to Rob Benson taking the Second Division accolade for season 2009/10. He also won the Susan Lion Memorial Trophy for being the League's overall Leading Goal-scorer.
Over the summer of 2010, the Second XI was reformed for the third time, taking part in the MSFL Fourth Division during the 2010/11 season. At the end of this campaign, the Club enjoyed its first championship success since 1985/86 – 25 years previously – when the first team won the MSFL Second Division title. Both the Second and Old Boys teams reached semi-finals in their respective league knock-out competitions for the first time.
Scott Shindler emulated Rob Benson by winning the MSFL Second Division Player of the Year award, the Club's fifth such award in total.
During the summer of 2011, the Club was allocated permits at both the Hive (3G), Barnet FC's training ground in Edgware, and Gosling Sports Park in Welwyn Garden City. The Roger Bannister Sports Centre in Harrow replaced Gosling for the 2012/13 season and was used by the Second Team mainly, whilst the 1st XI stayed at The Hive.
Prior to 2013/14, the Hive was dropped and the team stayed at the Roger Bannister Sports Centre.
Temple Fortune FC celebrated its 45th anniversary on December 29, 2013 and a fourth commemorative 'pilgrimage' back to Princes Park was organised to mark the occasion.
The Old Boys Team beat the Second Team in the final of the event attended by MSFL chairman David Wolff. At the Club's awards presentation lunch held on June 1, 2014, Mr Wolff again attended to present the awards, and was given a special commemorative trophy to mark his 50 years on the M(S)FL Management Committee.
Season 2015/16 was TFFC's 40th of consecutive participation in Maccabi football, a feat unmatched by any other current MGBSFL team – as the MSFL is now called thanks to sponsorship by Maccabi GB – under the same name and over the same time span.
Prior to season 2016/17, Simon Linden joined the Club as First Team manager and a new era of TFFC was born. He took the team to the Division Two runners-up spot and promotion in his first season and now a cup final in his second.
The Club progressed enough to be able to reform the Second Team for a fourth spell in the MSFL during season 2017/18, under the leadership of Darren Zitren and newcomer Steven Black.
Also, the excellent 3G at Silver Jubilee Park, home of Bostik Premier club Hendon FC, was hired for First Team home matches.
Already plans are in motion for next season as TFFC builds on the progress over the past two years. At the end of this year, TFFC incredibly will celebrate its golden anniversary – such a marvellous milestone speaks volumes about the Club’s excellent reputation, longevity and high ranking status within Maccabi sport.