Cheshire Walking Football October 2016 – Bad Day At Northwich
Cheshire Walking Football October 2016 , bad day at Northwich? Well it certainly was a bad day for Vintage Celtic who were runners up in the Premier Division in each of the last two league tournaments and now find themselves propping up the table.
I have deliberately left this post for a few of days in order to reflect on what went so badly wrong for a team that we expect a lot more from. OK, so we did have three important players missing for us through injury or other commitments but to lose three games and not even score one goal needs some analysis.
We were almost in the position of not being able to field a team in the Cheshire Walking Football October 2016 session. 24 hours before the tournament we acquired the services of Trevor Brereton and Mike McHale Smith from local club Tameside Striders, cheers lads.
To lose to Northgate Strollers was no disgrace as they are an excellent side with far younger and more mobile players than us but we were worth a draw against the other two teams, Widnes and Wigan Walkers. So where did we go wrong?
Well first of all the squad had an average age of 62 and conceding 8 years or so to the Northgate team gives an acceptable excuse for a 0-2 defeat. The same excuse cannot be levelled at the other two games as both Widnes and Wigan Walkers, who both beat us 1-0, must be on an average age level to us. Mistakes were made in all games resulting in goals for the opposition and without the sterling efforts of Mike Kieran in goal the defeats could have been heavier. Incidentally Trevor, Mike is 71 not 80, as your Striders report indicated.
The main problem is our mobility, without criticising individuals, we were in the main too static and lost our shape too easily. Walking football is not about taking on and beating an opponent, the clue is in the Walking. How can you expect to push a ball past an opponent and beat him to it when you cannot run?
All the best teams in walking football pass the ball to unmarked team mates, even when under pressure, and find space to receive the ball from their own players. Mobility, finding space when in possession and tight marking opponents when not are the keys to success in walking football. It should be so simple, why do we make it so hard? Our weekend tournament team play this way most of the time and we are reasonably successful, despite having the same average age of 62.
Finding the net has always been our main problem. Normally we are quite sound defensively but we are constantly trying to walk the ball into the opponents net. Oh for a striker who can score regularly from anywhere on the pitch, we would be up there with the best and almost unbeatable.
To sum up, we just weren’t good enough, inquest over. Perhaps we should be concentrating on over 60’s tournaments as the average age of our 32 strong Vintage Celtic tournament squad, is 62 years of age and out of the 32, 21 are over 60. After all, as a reverse comparison, you wouldn’t expect a team of 14 year old’s to compete against a team of 22 year old’s. I will be attending a meeting of the Cheshire Walking Football Group this coming Thursday, 20th October and will propose an over 60’s division. This, I feel, is much needed in our league and also the way forward in competitive walking football.
Anyway a big thanks to the lads who turned out at the Cheshire Walking Football October 2016 session, Trevor Brereton, Derek Drabble, Mike Kieran, Paul O’Neil, Mike McHale Smith, Mike Taylor and Tony Wade. Without you we would have been in the embarrassing position of having to withdraw from the session.
Please leave a comment below if you agree or even disagree with the points raised in this post.