Many Shades launch Monday evening sessions

The Many Shades of Grey – Havant and Waterlooville FC’s 50+ Walking Football Team – has evolved from modest beginnings in September 2014 into an award-winning, thriving, and vibrant group of enthusiastic players.  In the early days the group only met on Thursday mornings.  Added demand and increased interest in what is still the UK’s most rapidly growing sport meant that another session was begun, this time on Monday mornings.

Always seeking to improve the opportunities for people to join in with this fantastic sport, the Many Shades have become aware that by only holding sessions during working hours, we are excluding a great number of people who might otherwise have been able to join in.  So we are now expanding yet further by starting evening sessions for those people who can’t make it during the day.

The sessions will be held at Warblington School in Havant from 7.30pm to 8.30pm on Mondays, starting on 8th January 2018.  These Monday evening sessions will be supervised by qualified football coach Ross Betteridge from Hawks in the Community, while the daytime sessions will continue to be supervised by Shaun Gale.

The sessions will now have some slightly different focus as a result of this added opportunity.

The Monday morning session run by Shaun Gale at 11.00am at South Downs College 3g pitch will be focusing on providing a slower paced session, followed by complementary tea/coffee back at the Westleigh.

The Monday evening session run by Ross Betteridge at 7.30pm at Warblington School 3g pitch will be an opportunity for more working people aged 50 and over to attend, and is likely to be a slightly faster paced session than the morning one, possibly followed by a hard-earned pint back at the Westleigh.

The Thursday morning session run by Shaun Gale at 11.00am at South Downs College 3g pitch will be a continuation of the existing type of session, followed by complementary tea/coffee back at the Westleigh.

Each session costs £3.00 per person, payable on the day.  Players should not wear studded boots on the 3g surface; trainers or stipple soled boots are recommended.  Players can turn up and “Just Play”, however  to fully integrate into the Many Shades and become eligible to play in Festivals and matches against other teams players will need to sign as registered players for which there is a one-off £10.00 fee.  Further information is available from Shaun Gale on 023 9278 7822.

The Many Shades of Grey are affiliated to Hants FA (number T-HAM3831) and insured accordingly; Hants FA has rated us as a Tier 1 Walking Football Club, their highest standard.

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Stewart’s boys hold Tudors at bay

Saturday 11th November, rain, slightly chilly wind, an impeccably observed minute’s silence, one o’clock kick-off, goal!

In our seven-a-side match against Hemel Hempstead’s walking footballers at Warblington School, things couldn’t have started better for the Many Shades as straight from kick-off a slick passing move set up Andy Wilson at the far post to crash the ball into the roof of the net without a Hemel player touching the ball.

It wasn’t going to last like that, and it didn’t. Hemel soon found their feet, and were /quickly back on terms as their shrewd footballing brains and clear skills from bygone years carried them forward with menace and purpose. Only the famed well-drilled defence kept them at bay.

However as the game went on the Many Shades of Grey began to find gaps in the Hemel defence, none more so than James McIlwaine whose trusty left foot was soon in action to regain the lead for us, and at half-time we were 2-1 up.
During the third quarter we were under some pressure, but two great breakaway goals from James put the Many Shades into what seemed to be a commanding 4-1 lead.

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James, definitely not running, curls one into the far corner

The final quarter, instead of being a victory parade for the lads, turned into a siege of John Kennett’s goal, with shots raining in from all angles, and John having to be at his most alert to keep our noses in front. Hemel got one back early in the quarter.

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Hand of God – Andy protects his near post from another Hemel corner

Then they got another one back with three minutes to go… Fergie’s squeaky bum didn’t come close to the pressure we were under, but suddenly it was all over, and we had held on to win 4-3. Phew!

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The Many Shades squad was (l-r): Collin Hon, George Cullen, Stewart Russell, Barry Ingram,  John Kennett & James McIlwaine (!) , Colin Jeffery, Dave Hall, Andy Wilson, and Jeff Pickering.

We do it all again in February at their place.