Manchester Walking Football 1 – First Session Of The Spring Season 2017
Manchester Walking Football 1 was the first session of the Greater Manchester Over 60’s Walking Football Spring 2017 League. It turned out to be a great walking football occasion. Why not come and join us in March?
Due to the league being new, it was felt that rather than place teams who had a decent tournament record straight into Division 1, it would be fairer to draw the first 4 teams out of the hat for the places in that Division. More information on the league can be found here.
AFC Blackpool Senior Seasiders, Chadderton FC WF, Fleetwood Town Flyers and Rochdale Striders were the 4 teams to go in the top division. Division 2 consisted of Maccabi Old Codgers, Nash Amblers, Rochdale AFC Strollers and Vintage Celtic.
First up for Vintage Celtic was a strong Rochdale AFC Strollers. Play was pretty evenly matched and we hit the post twice but the luck was with the Rochdale side and the game finished in a 0-0 draw. The second game pitched Celtic against local rivals, Nash Amblers who proved to be a decent side and fielded 2 of our former players. Celtic edged the possession and thanks to a Paul O’Neil strike came out 1-0 winners.
The third and final game in this Manchester Walking Football 1 session was versus Maccabi Old Codgers. The Codgers were a better side than they looked but some excellent passing and movement by the Celtic players told in the end and the match finished with a 2-0 victory for Celtic. Paul O’Neil scored both goals, one a penalty, to take his goal tally on the day to 3 and win the Golden Boot for top scorer in the tournament.
I made captain Brian Coll our own Man of the Tournament, closely followed by steady Eddie – Barry Whitmore. As far as I can recall Mike Kieran in goal only had 1 shot to save all day, and his distribution was far better thanks to our defenders finding space.
All the lads put in a good shift but unfortunately some didn’t get much playing time, or none at all in Gordon’s case. It’s a terrible dilemma trying to win matches and give players decent playing time but I feel the team comes first. They obviously must have been very disappointed but to their credit never complained. I make no apologies for fielding what I consider to be our best team on the day even though some may disagree with the decision. The job is available for any takers but while I am doing the job that’s how it will remain. A very famous football manager had this to say about the manager/player relationship.
Some pleasing factors for me were that of all the teams, we gained the most points on the day, no goals were conceded and we had the biggest goal difference of all the teams. Plus we are now in Division 1 in the March session. We showed some great passing and movement but still lack concentration in defence at times, leaving opposition players unmarked and our goal vulnerable. Have a look at the Gallery for photos of the day’s events, thanks to Alan Richards of the Nash Amblers for the images.
A strange event occurred on Friday’s Manchester Walking Football 1 session. Brian took over the managers role, well at least for the first 15 minutes playing time before relinquishing the job. He almost broke the record of the shortest managerial rein held by Leroy Rosenior, who returned to Torquay United as head coach on 17 May 2007 but was sacked after 10 minutes. Was it the pressure that got to Brian?
A big thanks to the lads who turned out today, especially those who didn’t get much playing time, Keith Burrows, Brian Coll, Derek Drabble, Gordon Fenton, Mike Kieran, Paul O’Neil, Mike Taylor, Tony Wade and Barry Whitmore.