5-STAR BENSON PICKS UP THE SILVERWARE!
|ROB BENSON CREATED HISTORY BY WINNING THE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AND LEADING SCORERS AWARDS FOR BOTH HIS CLUB AND THE LEAGUE AT THE CLOSE OF THE 2009/10 SEASON.
Rob Benson, who collected the First Team Player of the Year Award, First Team Leading Goalscorer's Award and TFFC Leading Appearances Award at the Club's Awards Presentation Lunch on 6th June 2010, received two prestigious prizes at the M(S)FL Awards Evening, held at EDRS in Edgware, the very next evening.
He captured the Susan Lions Memorial Trophy which is the M(S)FL Leading Goalscorer Award for the entire League. He also won the M(S)FL Second Division Player of the Year Trophy, Temple Fortune's first divisional accolade since 1988.
And for good measure he was nominated for the M(S)FL Team of the Year and Second Division Team of the Year! Not a bad season! Earlier during the 2009/10 season Rob was called 'Five Star' after scoring five goals against London Maccabi Lions. After his array of five trophies, 'Five Star' has a completely new meaning!
Congratulations go to Rob for an absolutely wonderful season of personal accolades. The Club caught up with him a day after the M(S)FL prizes were handed out.
What a season for you personally, Rob! After two consecutive days of accolades coming your way, what are your feelings about all the attention?
Honestly, I don't particularly like the attention but have been grateful of the kind wishes from everyone at the Club.
Two prestigious M(S)FL awards must have come as a big surprise to you. Which of the two awards means more to you or are they both the same?
That's a tough one! As a striker, I guess you can easily measure yourself on goals scored so I would probably lean more towards the goalscorer one. Having said that, it's really satisfying knowing that representatives from other clubs have singled you out to be the best player! I haven't really answered that have I?!
During season 2008/09 you managed 11 goals. Did you set yourself a target for season 2009/10 or do stats not really bother you?
I set myself a target of 25 league goals and I only got 24. I also missed a penalty and plenty of sitters! I will say though that I set that target last summer and forgot about it pretty quickly. Stats definitely do bother me, yes!
Did you realise that nobody had reached 30 goals in one season for 10 years? As you crept in to the twenties, were you thinking you could top the 30 figure?
Again, I didn't think about it too much! Just kept on playing and hoped the club would win games - if I kept scoring, then it was a bonus!
I am certainly not going to devalue the M(S)FL Player of the Year award one bit by comparing it to the similar Club award, but in terms of receiving votes from your team-mates, how much did winning the First Team Player of the Year mean to you?
I think the votes from my team-mates probably mean more as they saw me play every game and they are a great bunch of lads!
You scored many a fine goal during the campaign. Which three stand out most in your memory and of these, which was your favourite?
I think my best goal was probably against Southgate Harmen 'B' away when I lobbed the 'keeper from about 35-40 yards. We won 3-0 as well! Second best would be FC Team 'A' in the game we lost 2-1 as they had such strong and quick defenders and I hardly had a sniff all game. I kind of out-muscled two of them then curled it in to the top right corner from the left, just outside the box. It was satisfying to do it against the side who I felt were the best team we played but just a shame we lost the game. Third best would have to be the free-kick against Lions in the 5-5 draw where I curled it in to the top corner. Just a memorable game, that one*. I remember nearly all of them pretty vividly though!
(*Understatement of the season! Rob scored all FIVE goals, which could have been a contributory factor in the LML manager voting for him for the M(S)FL Div.2 Player of the Year award!)
Why do you think you scored nearly three times as many goals as you did during the 2008/09 season? What do you put the substantial difference down to?
I joined Fortune late in to the season in 08/09 and I didn't play nearly as many games, so that's the first reason. second reason is that I was just getting used to 11 a side football after mainly playing 5 a side before. Took me a season to work out how to be as effective as possible.
What are you feelings about the 2009/10 season overall?
Really disappointing as I felt we showed we were as good as any team in the league, but consistency let us down.
Needless to say, surpassing what you have achieved will be a tall order during the 2010/11 season. Have you any feelings about targets, objectives and personal ambitions for the next campaign?
Fortune to win the league and 40 goals from me in all competitions!
Finally, Rob, you have been an absolute credit to this Football Club and given us something to add to our Honours & Achievements page on the website! What does it mean to you to be the first player since 1988 to win a M(S)FL Player of the Year award?
I am really proud of the achievement more so from a Club and team perspective than an indivdual one. I really hope that next season we will all be at the awards ceremony as a team. I also think it is important to point out that I would never have achieved these accolades without the help of my team-mates. I probably shouldn't single anyone out, but I will! Ben Isaacs is my partner in crime! He does so much running, has so much strength, and causes defenders so many problems, that it gave me space to take people on and get shots off. They do say that you need a good partnership up front, and I definitely feel we have developed ours. He has been so selfless all season, and just gets on with it and does not stop working hard. It is probably unfair that I got this attention and recognition as his contribution was massive.
Here is a closer view of the M(S)FL Second Division Player of the Year Trophy presented to Rob.
JC pictures with acknowledgements to the Jewish Chronicle.