Wingate & Finchley have won another award to add to the incredible set of trophies picked up this season!

Wingate & Finchley have won another award to add to the incredible set of trophies picked up this season.

At the Ryman League’s end of season awards night on Saturday, the Blues were chosen for the division’s Performance of the Season honour following the historic Treble that the side won during 2010/11. First team Manager David Norman collected the award with Club Official David Thrilling at the event held in Brighton’s Hilton hotel.

In other news, the Club are delighted to announce that more first-team regulars – Ahmet Rifat, Marc Weatherstone, David Laird, Paul Wright, Mark Henry and Ajet Shehu – have committed themselves to Club for next season’s foray into the Ryman Premier League. David Norman said “It is no coincidence that these players have been attracting offers from clubs at a higher level.  The last two years of success have enabled the players to put themselves in the shop window and I am very pleased that they have decided to commit to Wingate & Finchley for another season.  This shows their desire to succeed as they have turned down lucrative offers which reflects on the professional and homely environment which the chairman and coaching staff provide for the players here.”

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Wingate & Finchley Football Club Preseason Fixture and Charity presentation

Wingate & Finchley have announce their preseason fixture list for this coming summer. First up is a visit to the Great Britain Maccabiah side at the end of June, and the fixtures build up to testing matches against Uxbridge, Chesham Utd and Dulwich Hamlet. Hamlet were of course the beaten finalists in last season’s Ryman League Cup Final.

The full list is as follows:

Tues 28th June – v GB Maccabiah (at Rowley Lane), kick off TBA
Sat 9th July – v Cockfosters (at The Hive), kick off 3pm
Tues 19th July – v Cadicote (Away), kick off 8pm
Sat 23rd July (Game 1) – v Haringey Borough (Away) , kick off 3pm
Sat 23rd July (Game 2) – v Broxbourne Borough (Away), kick off 3pm
Tues 26th July – v Oxhey Jets (Away), kick off 7:30pm
Sat 30th July – v Berkhamsted (Away), kick off 3pm
Tues 2nd Aug – v Uxbridge (Home), kick off 7:45pm
Sat 6th Aug (Game 1) – v Chesham United (Away), kick off 3pm
Sat 6th Aug (Game 2) – v Leverstock Green (Away), kick off 3pm
Sat 13th Aug – v Dulwich Hamlet (Home), kick off 3pm
Sat 20th Aug – Ryman League Season Starts

W&F FC presenting cheque for charity

Wingate & Finchley Club President Harvey Ackerman and Commercial Director Mike Bayly are pictured handing over a cheque to Hazel Kaye from Jewish Blind and Disabled. The club raised over £2300 for the charity as some of its supporters and staff embarked on a sponsored walk to Waltham Abbey FC’s ground earlier in the year.

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Wingate & Finchley FC Appoint Tony Faulkner for the next season

Photo of Tony Faulkner
Wingate & Finchley are pleased to announce the appointment of Tony Faulkner as the Assistant Manager of the first team.

Faulkner has spent the past 18 months as Manager at Ware FC of Ryman Division One North. He guided them to safety in 2010 despite the side being nine points adrift in the relegation zone when he took over.

Last season Ware reached two cup semi-finals and improved dramatically in the league as they finished comfortably mid-table.

Faulkner has previously managed Brimsdown Rovers, Cockfosters and Broxbourne Borough, and has coached at Luton Town’s Academy.

Faulkner said on joining the club “Wingate & Finchley have a great set-up and a very good squad of players, who I am looking forward to working with. Dave (Norman) has a very good management team alongside him and I’m sure I can compliment them.”

Faulkner joins with a good background knowledge of all the squad and their abilities, in particular centre-forward Murat Karagul with whom he has worked twice before.

Faulkner added “Our first goal for this season is to build on last year by stabilising us as a Premier League team, and then look for good runs in the FA Cup and Trophy.”

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Wingate and Finchley FC held a memorable end of season presentation recently to celebrate the most successful season in the club’s history.

I know it is a minor league, and your editor not sure what readers feel, but isn’t it great that our Finchley team is doing so well? Football is not my scene – it’s the wrong shape ball – but that doesn’t stop your editor feeling proud that we are moving up the ladder. The following was taken from their excellent press release:

After winning the Treble of promotion to the Ryman Premier Division, the Ryman League Cup and the London Senior Cup, there were plenty of awards to be handed out to many worthy candidates.

The varying Player of the Season Awards went to defenders Ahmet Rifat and Daniel Nielsen, ageless goalkeeper Gavin King and winger Gary Burrell. Another defender Ajet Shehu took the Young POTY award.

In a rare award, the Asher Rebak Award for Exceptional Achievement was handed out for only the third time in its history, and was given to David Norman for managing the side to an unprecedented Treble.

The Under 18 Player of the Season gong went to starlet Liron Mannie, who recently signed forms to play in the Ryman League with the first team and is sure to have a huge influence within the club next season. Sam Robbins took the award for the FLEX player of the season.


The full list of 2010/11 Award Winners are as follows:

Board of Directors Player of Season – Ahmet Rifat
Managers Player of Season – Daniel Nielsen
Supporters Player of Season – Gavin King
Players Player of Season – Gary Burrell
Top Goalscorer – Leon Smith
Club Person of Year – Aron Sharpe
Young Player of Season – Ajet Shehu
Asher Rebak Award for Exceptional Achievement – David Norman

U18s Player of Season – Liron Mannie
U18s Most Improved Player – Andy Ward

FLEX Player of Season – Sam Robbins
FLEX Most Improved Player of Season – Henry Akinsuyi

U16s London Player of Season – Cameron Saul
U16s London Most Improved Player of Season – Oliver Gnandi

U16s Herts Player of Season – Mica Wellington
U16s Herts Most Improved Player of Season – Thomas Magnitis

U15s Player of Season – Ciaran Power
U15s Most Improved Player of Season – Jamie Nelson

U14s Player of Season – Andrew White
U14s Most Improved Player of Season – Mehmet Ismail

U13s Player of Season – Ronaldo Jones
U13s Most Improved Player of Season – Stephen Garr

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Wingate & Finchley FC’s tremendous end to the season, winning 9 of their last 10 games and drawing one.

Although football isn’t my sport (wrong shape ball) I think it is terrific that our Finchley team, based in Summers Avenue, North Finchley, is doing so well here is their press release. Note that I always put press releases in a lighter colour and indent them to show that it wasn’t our hard work!

Tuesday 10th May 2011 – London Senior Cup Final – Wingate & Finchley 3-1 Hendon

Wingate & Finchley came from behind in this London Senior Cup Final, to beat Hendon and complete an historic Treble including promotion to the Ryman Premier Division and the League Cup.

Both sides were slightly depleted, Hendon through injuries and Wingate’s squad shattered from the two extra-time matches of the last five days. On the pot-holed dusty pitch it was Hendon who dominated the opening stages and took the lead in the 14th minute with a scrappy goal bundled home from a near-post corner by Greg Ngoyi.

Wingate responded immediately from this setback, and the Hendon centre back James Parker should then have been sent off for cynically hauling down Murat Karagul when through on goal, but the referee was too afraid of giving such an important decision so early in a cup final.

The lively Karagul then equalised on the half hour mark. Receiving a ball upfield from Jones he showed strength to hold off his marker, and from close range swivelled and volleyed low through the helpless goalkeeper.

The game was deservedly level again, but Hendon’s Scott Cousins was the second player who was lucky to stay on the field after an over-the-ball challenge on Ola Williams on the halfway line which brought only a booking.

Both sides found life tricky on the embarrassingly horrendous football pitch, as it was clear that both sets of players were more comfortable playing a passing style of football. 

The Blues then took the lead ten minutes after the break. Lewis Jones worked hard to press and close down the Hendon right-back, who lost all confidence in reading which direction the ball may next move off the surface, and the ball broke for the onrushing Sam Sloma. He forged into the box and showed great composure to slot the ball at the near post under goalkeeper James Reading.

Wingate sat back well and the defensive line of Marc Weatherstone, Paul Wright, Ahmet Rifat and Daniel Nielsen forced the Hendon strikeforce into mistakes time after time. Then on 70 minutes, as the green army were committing men forward, Lewis Jones all but sealed the trophy for Wingate & Finchley finishing off a great counter-attack. A superb run down the right from Williams attacking two players, took him into the area where a low cross found Jones who diverted the ball in at the near post from ten yards.

At the other end Hendon hit a post from a tight angle wide on the right with one of their only meaningful shots of the second half, whilst for Wingate Leon Smith was substituted on and nearly made an instant impact with a shot at the near post which the keeper Reading did well to get his whole body behind.

The regimented side knew just how to hold on to a lead – something they have had a lot of practice doing in recent weeks having won 9 and drawn 1 of the final 10 games at the business end of the season – and they played out the final moments with extreme professionalism, sealing a quite incredible Treble of honours that goes down in history as the Club’s most successful.

Lineup: King, Weatherstone, Wright, Fowler (Henry 46), Nielsen, Rifat,  Williams (Smith 75), O’Brien, Karagul, Jones, Sloma (Laird 80). Subs: Cooper, Burrell.

Man of the match Murat Karagul, who scored the side’s opening goal, said “We’ve won this treble in our club with a fantastic atmosphere, and we are already looking forward to next year and taking the Premier League by storm.”

Manager David Norman said: “an incredible end to a fantastic season. This evening’s game showed how much work and effort the staff and players have given this year. Having secured promotion after two strenuous matches, six changes were made to the starting lineup. This evening’s result shows the quality in depth of the squad we have assembled here at Wingate, and we will all enjoy the break and focus on consolidation in the Ryman Premier.”

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Wingate & Finchley football club earns promotion to the Ryman League Premier Division in the Playoff Final

Wingate and Finchley team celebratingWingate and Finchley team celebrating

Wingate and Finchley team celebrating after their win

Wingate & Finchley have beaten Brentwood Town 3-2 after extra time (2-2 FT) to earn promotion to the Ryman League Premier Division in the Playoff Final. A Lewis Jones goal in the 117th minute sealed the momentous victory.

Captain Daniel Nielsonwas absolutely delighted with the players, the managers and everyone behind the scenes, at what we have done. We are where we deserve to be now…onwards and upwards!”

Chairman Aron Sharpe said “It was an incredible day, the most wonderful in the club’s history but it is not over yet. We have a hard game on Tuesday when hopefully there will be a changing of the guard as we battle Hendon in the Final.”

Manager David Norman told us “It’s a fantastic achievement for everybody involved in Wingate and Finchley Football Club, the squad have shown togetherness, resilience and a team spirit which is second to none. To win the Ryman League Cup, promotion to the Ryman Premier and still looking forward to the London Senior Final against Hendon on Tuesday night underpins their desire and commitment to reaching the highest possible level they can. We will enjoy the next few days however we will be focused for Tuesday night where Hendon will provide us with quality opposition.”

Do not forget the Club is now on course for an historic Treble with potential victory in the London Senior Cup Final on Tuesday 10th May at 7.30pm. The side face local rivals Hendon at Tooting & Mitcham’s ground.

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Play offs secured for Wingate and Finchley Football Club last Saturday.

By Jamie Dickens

The gulf between both sides, in this exciting encounter on Saturday afternoon, was evident as Waltham Forest played victims in a five-nil drubbing at the hands of Finchley’s impressive Wingate and Finchley FC.

Tensions were high at Summers Lane as the play offs were within touching distance for the hosts. David Norman’s side started off confidently as an instinctive long ball from keeper, Bobby Smith, well within his own half caught Forest’s defence napping and found David Laird inside the box. Laird could only volley into the keeper’s hands but it was a sign of what was to come.

The opener was to come shortly after this opportunity which came about after an excellent piece of skill from Wingate’s fearsome striker, Leon smith. Combining strength and nifty footwork to leave three Forest defenders scrambling in his wake, he slid the ball into the bottom corner past on-looking keeper Sidney Anguilley.

Anguilley was given no chance by his defence for Smith’s and Wingate’s second. When an extremely distinctive chipped ball was played into the prolific striker’s path by Gary Burrell, Forest’s captain, Gbenga Sonuga, was left in no-man’s land and could only watch as the ball nestled in the bottom corner once again.

After the interval things only got better for the impressive Leon Smith. He bagged his 27th of the campaign seconds after the re-start. Cleverly, he wrong footed the unlucky Gbenga Ladega and produced an exquisite finish to complete his hatrick. This opened up the flood gates and the fourth was clinched by an outstanding Ahmet Rifat goal on the hour mark volleying in from the edge of the area. The final goal was turned into his own net by former Wingate captain, Marvin Samuel.

This was an emphatic win for the home side and after a slip up by Sudbury they had clinched their play off place by the final whistle. Manager David Norman said “This was the most important game of our season; this is because it could have been a major slip up if we hadn’t got the result. We had a game plan today and the lads responded to it very well. All credit to the opposition, we knew it would be a tough game for us today despite their position in the table, however, after having matched them physically there would be only one winner today and the quality of my squad shone through.”  When asked about a possible man of the match, Norman said “Obviously we cannot ignore the fact that Leon has scored an incredible hat-rick today, but he wouldn’t have been able to do this if we hadn’t worked so hard as a team so I’d put today’s result down to a team performance rather than an individual.”


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