A Merry Christmas from the Many Shades

christmas-2016

A very Merry Christmas to you all from the Havant & Waterlooville Walking Football Squad – The Many Shades of Grey

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Festival Update

Costa Cup

Even with the demands of Christmas shopping, the Many Shades have still found time at the weekends to participate in a couple of tournaments recently.

Sunday 20th November saw the inaugural Costa Cup organised by Emsworth & Hayling and held at the very familiar Park Community School.

Unfortunately, the Christmas shopping duties did take their toll somewhat and it was a fairly depleted Many Shades squad that turned up at Leigh Park.

However, at the eleventh hour, a stranger from an even stranger and distant land appeared in the car park like a pantomime genie. Through the universal language of football, we ascertained his name was James and that he was there to gain an insight into walking football.
Typically, Stewart (who, for some reason, was able to converse with the stranger) asked if he had brought his boots and within ten minutes James was leading the Many Shades attack.

We did ok. We didn’t win our group but also we didn’t win the wooden spoon.

Many thanks to Emsworth & Hayling for a very well organised event (they’d obviously learned from the professionals!) and an equally excellent post-match buffet at the Wheelwrights.

img_3480-2The Costa Cup Squad

Hants FA Walking Football Festival

Sunday 4th December saw the Many Shades send a 60+ squad along to Redbridge Community School in Southampton where Hants FA had organised a Walking Football Festival.  The morning session (10—12) was for the 50+ age group, while we were in the afternoon (1—3) session for the 60+ age group.  Nearly.

As we later discovered, there had been some flexibility to these boundaries, and teams who felt they were too inexperienced in playing in tournaments, or who were newly formed, were allowed to enter 50+ sides into this section as a gentle introduction to the game.  Our squad was entirely made up of over-60s, including a few over-70s.

The format was 4x 10-minute group games, followed by a play-off final between the two group winners.

First up we played Southampton Strollers, and with the contentious issue of a large penalty area (with only the goalkeeper allowed in it) and small goals, scoring proved to be at a premium.  The match was settled by a solid shot from distance which came out of the low winter sun like the Red Baron in his little Fokker, and squirmed through the completely dazzled Tony Jewell’s fingers.  So a 1-0 defeat it was. 

Next we played Fleming Park, and fought out a pretty chanceless 0-0 draw that was memorable only for us surviving the sun in our defenders’ eyes without calamity.

Our third game was against our old friends Southampton DFA, and their ex-England Ladies’ class showed as their off-the ball movement pulled us apart at regular intervals.  Only some solid defending and the occasional foray forward kept things even.  Then one of their excellent lady players was given half a yard of space from 15 yards and bang!, there it was in the top corner.  A slightly disappointing 1-0 defeat.

Our final game (and we knew we couldn’t qualify by now) was against a 50+ side of Caulkhead Strollers from the Isle of Wight.  This time we had the setting sun to our backs for the first time, but it was Caulkhead who snatched a slightly fortuitous winner, the ball coming off both posts before rolling into the side of the net. 

So it was that we came bottom of the group… but at least we shared the goals around equally!  Your squad was Tony Jewell and Clive Wilkin sharing the goalkeeping duties, with Pete Dolamore, Dave Richards, Stew Russell, Barry Ingram, Mick Sidwell, Shaun Key, Mo Hill, and Martyn Bishop doing what they could on the outfield.  Many thanks to John Hicks and Jeff Pickering for attempting to control this motley crew.  A big word of thanks also to John Morgan who refereed morning and afternoon (but not any of our games) and earned a massive medal for being brave and sending the huge Southampton DFA goalkeeper to the sin bin for running.

IMG_3660 (2).JPGClive between the (very flimsy) sticks

Interestingly, every game in this competition, morning and afternoon, was to finish either 1-0 or 0-0… apart from a game involving Pompey ITC in the morning, who failed to turn up on the pitch until 5 minutes after kick-off and forfeited it 3-0!  The Hants FA organisers will look at the penalty area issue ahead of the next festival they run, and hopefully it will be less of a penalty against the attackers!

Below:  as Caulkhead Strollers prepare to kick off, and (l-r) Stew, Pete, Mick, and Shaun ready themselves, Barry already can’t bear to watch.

IMG_3657 (2).JPG