Enfield Town FC – A Brief History
Formed on 23rd June 2001, Enfield Town FC started life in the Essex Senior League in 2001-02. The club finished runners-up in that first season before winning the league championship the following year. Their time spent in the ESL was successful, with two championships, two league cups, a Middlesex Charity Cup and wins in the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy and Capital Counties Feeder Leagues Trophy finals to show for their efforts.
Following promotion to the Southern League (East) in 2005, the Towners had a terrific first season at that level, before eventually losing to Wivenhoe Town in the promotion play-offs. The following season, following a move into the Ryman League for 2006-07, the club again finished 3rd – this time losing out via the play-offs to AFC Sudbury. In 2009-10, the club yet again only just missed out on promotion, being beaten this time by Concord Rangers in the play-off final.
The club originally played at Brimsdown Rovers' Goldsdown Road ground in a ground share arrangement. In October 2008, however, Enfield Council announced a deal with the club allowing it to relocate to the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium. Realising a long held dream, the club worked closely with the Council to see the old athletics stadium restored and upgraded to be able to host Ryman League football. This finally provided the club with a home of its own a short distance from the former stadium in Southbury Road, with a capacity of 2,500.
While retaining a running track as a training facility for local use, the club has been able to provide an atmospheric environment. The Stadium was formally opened in November 2011 with a match against a Tottenham Hotspur XI.
Following the move to the new ground, there was a very close Ryman 1 (North) title race between Town and eventual champions Leiston. After finishing as runners-up, Town had to settle for promotion the hard way, beating Grays Athletic and Needham Market in two exciting play-off games. Subsequently, after a period of consolidation at Step 3 had turned into a battle for survival, safety was only secured on the final day of the 2013-14 campaign with a 2-1 away win at Cray Wanderers. Bradley Quinton then succeeded George Borg as first team manager in August 2014 and, during his first few months at the helm, the team recorded impressive 3-0 wins at Hendon, Maidstone and Margate, all of whom were either eventually promoted or reached the play-offs. Indeed, such was the team’s improvement that a play-off place was achieved, only for three crucial points to be deducted towards the end of the campaign, in controversial circumstances, consequently leading to a final league placing of 7th.
In 2015/16, Town went on a terrific late run and only missed out on a play-off spot by a couple of points. Then in 2016/17, the club’s play off dream was finally realised, but a 2-4 reverse at Dulwich Hamlet in the semi-final prevented further progress.
Following the departure of manager Bradley Quinton to Braintree Town, the experienced Andy Leese took over the managerial reins for the 2017/18 season. The new management team assembled a competitive squad, virtually from scratch and, within a few months of their arrival, equalled the furthest the club have progressed in the FA Cup (to the 4th Qualifying Round) in its relatively short history, taking National League side Maidstone United to a replay.
In 2018/19 Town won the Velocity Trophy (aka the Isthmian League Cup) for the first time, beating AFC Hornchurch 2-0 at Aveley's Parkside stadium.
The first supporter-owned club in the country, growth continues at a sustainable pace. Over the last few years, a number of successful Under-21, Under-18, Youth and Ladies teams have been built, along with a number of other sides of various age groups and abilities, including a learning difficulties squad.
In June 2017, the club were awarded the Charter Standard Community Club of the Year by the Middlesex Football Association, one of a number of awards to recognise all the hard work being done to support the local community. In November 2017 a 3G training facility was opened adjacent to the club’s stadium. This London Borough of Enfield project was made possible with a grant via the Football Foundation and is used primarily by Enfield Town FC as well as a range of local schools and other clubs. In the summer of 2018 the QEII Stadium hosted a number of matches (including the final between Northern Cyprus and Karpatalya) of the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) Football World Cup.
The club continues to look forward, and aims to build on the on and off-field momentum that has been established over the past few seasons as it continues to pursue its vision as an inclusive club for all and a football and social centre for the community, with a range of teams playing at the highest sustainable levels possible.
Enfield Football Tales Project
With a view to their origins, in 2012 the club embarked on the Enfield Football Tales Project. With the help of a national charity, the Beth Johnson Foundation, lottery funding was obtained and a number of individuals and organisations came together with the intention of gathering people’s recollections of football in Enfield. A number of players, past and present, fans and officials kindly agreed to be interviewed and these have been uploaded onto YouTube and can be viewed via the Enfield Football Tales project’s website. A mobile exhibition has been created together with two handling boxes which can be used in conjunction with school visits and with those suffering the early stages of dementia. A team of volunteers are also involved in giving talks to local schools and organisations who are interested in either the sporting or the local history aspect of the project. These can be arranged by contact page on the tales website.