‘Sunday morning football has lost its appeal,’ says Shooman
FOOTBALL ROB Shooman admits he was forced to withdraw Faithfold A from Division One due to a lack of commitment and enthusiasm from the players.
One of the most successful clubs in the history of the MGBSFL, Faithfold were one of only two teams to take points off champions-elect Redbridge Jewish Care B. But manager Shooman insists it was the right call.
He described the decision to forfeit last weekend’s scheduled match against Oakwood B as the final straw and says “the decision to pull the team was reached with great regret”.
Shooman said: “Faithfold has been a large part of my life for some considerable time. I’ve enjoyed many great years with them — among my 50 with the league — I’ve had a good run, but it’s come to an end.”
Faithfold’s A-team have won the Pre- mier Division title on three occasions, as well as the Peter Morrison Trophy (Jewish FA Cup) and three Cyril Anekstein Cups. They remain the only Jewish club ever to have won the London FA Sunday Intermediate Cup, and a host of their players have won individual awards, most recently Daniel Howard — Player of the Year — in 2013.
Faithfold were forced to withdraw their former C-team in recent seasons, as well as their veterans team from the Maccabi Masters League. And Shooman believes it is a sign of the times.
“Playing 11-a-side football doesn’t mean as much to boys as it used to,” he said. “They prioritise other things now, they have other distractions.
“Faithfold have had some great serv- ants over the years but were no longer the force they used to be. Everything changed very quickly. Often, I had 16 players on a Saturday evening but a bare XI before kick-off on a Sunday morning.
“But on the other side of the coin, I had a really talented group of players. If I had the commitment, I believe we’d be up there challenging.
“It’s very frustrating for me how things have ended. In the end I had to ask myself, ‘What am I knocking myself out for?’ It came to the point where many boys no longer went out of their way to play and I was fed up of paying all the fines.”
League chairman David Wolff expressed sadness with the latest withdrawal. “It’s always a shame when a team leaves,” he remarked, “but I know they have had problems for quite some time. It’s a sad reflection of what they were.”
With the MGBSFL now down to 30 teams, Mr Wolff went on to say: “We’ve already got some enquiries about new teams joining next season so let’s wait and see.” Faithfold A follow in the footsteps of Brixton Old Boys and FC Team C who folded earlier in the season. Faithfold’s name will remain in the Division One table as they fulfilled 75 per cent of their fixtures. Their remaining three games have been awarded to their opponents.
Faithfold folded with three games remaining