Horsforth Fairweather FC

HFFC 2011-12: A Period of Rebuilding.

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HFFC 2011-12:
Back - Callum, Goughy, Jamie, Javier, Errol, Dean, Mat L, Jonesy, Pos, Jon V, Jake, Matt S, Sedge (and family).
Front - Woody, Lee Mon, Jermaine, Nou Nou, Tom W, John N, Anthony S, Joe.
Bedquilts, September 2011.

Back: Callum Postle, Andy Gough, Jamie Francis, Javier Zambrano, Errol Todman, Dean Smith, Mat Lamping, Chris Jones, Jonathan Postle, Jon Vernon, Jake Harvey, Matt Smith, Sedge (and family). Front: Woody, Lee Monaghan, Jermaine Ranger, Nounou Aifa, Tom Wriglesworth, John Newsome, Anthony Smith, Joe Waite.

  It was soon clear that fate would be less kind to HFFC than in the previous season. When the club might have looked forward with justification to a period of prolonged success, the summer of 2011 saw an unprecedented exodus of players, for various reasons. Chris Buttery was injured and unable to continue in goal, while the defence was all but decimated. Barry Armstrong was unavailable almost the whole season, Simon Banoub had retired, while Steve Sedgwick, Andy Gough and Phil Smith were all laid low at the start of the campaign. We lost both regular wing-backs, Mike Sinnott leaving the area and Simon Hinkins calling it a day. Midfield was a struggle too, with Richard Horton unavailable at first, Jamie Francis out injured all season and Chris Markham initially injured then unavailable. Of the previous season's attack, Anthony Bell would be only fleetingly available and Will Low another one who had moved away. To add insult to injury, we were "promoted" into the same Division, as the Combination had abolished the next one up due to shrinking numbers of clubs, and this time around Division One, now the league's second tier, would inevitably find HFFC somewhat making up the numbers.

  In hindsight, few would have blamed us had the club folded at this juncture, but many will believe me when I say that option was never considered. The side was a bit make-do-and-mend at first, and it would be impossible to chronicle all the changes of shape and personnel that were more or less forced on us throughout this difficult period. There were of course many plus factors amongst all the gloom, not least the fact that Jonathan Postle had returned from college and took over the yellow jersey that his father had worn with such disticntion. Dean Herron was now first choice for the right-back spot, Jon Vernon another promoted from last season's squad list to become a regular at the back. Callum Butcher was re-recruited to give the defence a touch of class, Tom Low was called up at the start of the season, and Mathew Lamping was another who helped us get a viable defence out over the early weeks before Sedge and Goughy returned to the fray. Jake Harvey took over the mantle of key central midfielder, with Nounou Aifa another who had been with the club for a while and took his chance when he was most needed. Similarly, Tom Wriglesworth forced his way into the side, initially as an attacking option but latterly as a defensive midfield player, and Errol Todman added a touch of character to the central area. In attack, Scott Robinson was the only link from the previous season's regulars, but John Newsome was back and weighed in with his usual quota of vital goals. The main bonus was the form of Anthony Smith, yet another who had been training with the club during 2010-11 but was only now called on to show his mettle, starting the season with a goal every game for five weeks. Jermaine Ranger was briefly back from injury, and was made captain for the opening games, Sedge subsequently taking over the armband.

  We won a few and lost a few in the early months of the campaign, an astonishing achievement for a club in such a state of flux. The draw against promoted Morley Celtic on the opening day was very pleasing, and there ensued two hard earned wins against West Leeds Whites, and a League Cup success at Crooked Billet. In October, we went down to a mere 1-0 defeat in the Sunday Senior Cup to Halton Moor, winners for the last five seasons and by general consent the best Sunday team in Leeds, as our patched-up side began to show real promise. However, from this point things went downhill quickly. The other cup draws were similarly unkind to us, and two resounding defeats in County Cup and League Cup were followed by a series of poor results in the league, and the spectre of relegation began to loom large as winter set in, with only the bottom side South Leeds United yielding any points to us at this stage. Richard Horton had returned and was appointed captain after a couple of months, then left again, Sedge getting the job back.

  The weather played havoc with the fixture list in January and February, but the hand of fate had also begun to turn. Perhaps the key game was the 4-4 draw with Crooked Billet, the point salvaged after being no less than four goals down. Phil Smith was back in the side now, and Lee Monaghan was making some telling appearances from the bench. If this result did not on its own mean our problems were over (and it didn't!), it served as welcome evidence of the club's strong spirit. As winter turned to spring, there were more disappointing defeats, but also a welcome influx of new players: Dave Scott scored three goals in three games before injury robbed us of him, temporarily it is to be hoped; Steve Skillern earned a place on the left of midfield; and there were other newcomers Jamie McCafferty in attack and Joshuan Naiman and Craig Harrison in midfield, all of whom will hopefully be with us for the long term. And nor should the resurgence of Chris Jones at left-back and the excellent late-season form of Jon Vernon in central defence go unmentioned. In summary, it was never going to be a great season, but we finished it much stronger than we'd started it.

  The lowest point of 2011-12 has to be the 10-0 pasting by HT Sports, not so much for the result as for the way our squad seemed to vanish before our eyes in the days leading up to the game. That HT went on to win the League, League Cup and Sunday Senior Cup in some way eases the pain we feel about the scoreline, but if there was ever one day when we wondered why we bothered, this was it. The high spot was probably the 2-1 win against Old Tree in Kippax, a solid all-round team performance and an unexpected but not undeserved result against a side who at the time were still in contention for the championship.

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League Table.

Leeds Combination Division 1, 2011-12.

 

P W D L F A Pts
Young Guns 22 19 2 1 110 33 40
Morley C&S 22 16 2 4 97 32 34
JB Celtic 22 14 6 2 75 33 34
Pudsey Liberal Club 22 13 3 5 64 45 30
Swillington Welfare 22 11 1 10 41 49 23
Old Tree 22 10 1 11 94 60 21
Morley Celtic 22 9 3 10 70 80 21
Beeston St Anthonys 22 9 0 13 62 77 18
West Leeds Whites 22 7 3 12 73 83 17
Horsforth Fairweather 22 4 6 12 38 67 14
Crooked Billet 22 2 6 14 46 120 10
South Leeds Utd 22 0 2 20 23 114 2

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Results 2011-12.

September 4th

Morley Celtic (H)

League

2-2

A.Smith, Harvey.

September 11th

Pudsey Liberal Club (H)

League

1-2

A.Smith.

September 18th

West Leeds Whites (H)

League

3-2

A.Smith, Harvey, Herron.

September 25th

Young Guns (H)

League

2-3

A.Smith, Horton.

October 9th

Crooked Billet (A)

Sanford Cup Round 1

4-3

Markham, Own Goal, Ranger, A.Smith.

October 16th

Halton Moor (A)

Sunday Senior Cup Round 2

0-1

 

October 23rd

West Leeds Whites (A)

League

3-2

Butcher, Robinson (pen), A.Smith.

October 30th

Crooked Billet (A)

League

3-5

Todman, Butcher, Wriglesworth.

November 6th

Mill Lane (A)

County Sunday Cup Round 2

2-7

A.Smith, Newsome.

November 13th

HT Sports (A)

Sanford Cup Round 2

0-10

 

November 20th

JB Celtic (H)

League

0-5

 

November 27th

South Leeds United (H)

League

3-1

Newsome, Herron, Horton.

December 4th

Beeston St Anthonys (A)

League

2-7

Harvey, Robinson.

December 11th

South Leeds United (A)

League

2-2

Aifa, Newsome.

January 22nd

Crooked Billet (H)

League

4-4

Aifa, Horton, Own Goal, Newsome.

January 29th

Beeston St Anthonys (H)

League

1-4

A.Smith

February 19th

JB Celtic (A)

League

0-5

 

February 26th

Old Tree (H)

League

1-3

Scott.

March 4th

Morley Cricket & Sports (A)

League

2-6

Harvey, Scott.

March 11th

Old Tree (A)

League

2-1

Scott, A.Smith.

March 18th

Young Guns (A)

League

1-3

Skillern.

March 25th

Pudsey Liberal Club (A)

League

2-2

Harvey, McCafferty.

April 1st

Swillington Welfare (A)

League

0-1

 

April 8th

Morley Cricket & Sports (H)

League

1-4

Monaghan (pen).

April 15th

Morley Celtic (A)

League

2-2

McCafferty, Skillern.

April 22nd

Swillington Welfare (H)

League

1-1

A.Smith.

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Appearances 2011-12.

Name

Games Sub Goals

Aifa, Noureddine

9

4

2

Armstrong, Barry

1

 

 

Banham, Ed

 

2

 

Bednarek, Mark

3

 

 

Bell, Anthony

1

 

 

Butcher, Callum

10

 

2

Gough, Andy

13

4

 

Harrison, Craig

2

1

 

Harvey, Jake

21

 

5

Herron, Dean

22

1

2

Horton, Richard

13

 

3

Lamping, Mathew

2

 

 

Jones, Chris

13

3

 

Low, Tom

5

 

 

Markham, Chris

3

 

1

McCafferty, Jamie

5

2

2

Merifield, Andy

1

3

 

Monaghan, Lee

5

6

1

Naiman, Joshua

6

1

 

Newsome, John

5

7

4

Postle, Jonathan

26

 

 

Ranger, Jermaine

5

 

1

Rayner, Marc

1

3

 

Robinson, Scott

16

8

2

Rogers, Tim

 

1

 

Scott, Dave

3

 

3

Sedgwick, Steven

16

 

 

Skillern, Steve

6

1

2

Smith, Anthony

24

1

10

Smith, Dean

3

2

 

Smith, Matthew

1

 

 

Smith, Phil

9

1

 

Thorp, James

 

1

 

Todman, Errol

8

8

1

Vernon, Jon

13

2

 

Wriglesworth, Tom

15

5

1

Zambrano, Javier

 

2

 

Own Goals

 

 

2

Also signed - Chris Buttery, Michael Cheng, Kevin Ferguson, Jamie Francis, Kieran Gentry, Alex Goodall, Lewis Hardy, Will Low, Nathan Matthews, Callum Postle, Joe Waite.

Games as captain - Sedgwick 15, Horton 7, Ranger 2, Monaghan, P.Smith 1 each.

Games as goalkeeper - Postle 26.

Cautions - Robinson 3; Aifa, Sedgwick 2 each; Todman, Butcher, T.Low, Jones 1 each. Sent off - Todman, Robinson 1 each.

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Awards.

Player of the Year - Dean Herron.

Goal of the Season - Dave Scott (v. Old Tree away).

Top Goal Scorer - Anthony Smith (10).




Club Colours.

First choice - Green shirt with black trim, black shorts and socks .

Change - Claret shirts, shorts and socks, with green trim,
worn in the away matches with Beeston St Anthonys, South Leeds and Morley Celtic.




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