Fleetwood Over 60’s Tournament April 2018
The Fleetwood Over 60’s Tournament April 2018 was only the second venture into tournament walking football for the new Manchester Corinthians over 60’s team. After a disappointing outcome in the earlier April Wigan Tournament, hopes were high that this may provide our first tournament win.
The venue was the excellent £8m Poolfoot Farm training complex in Thornton, the home of Fleetwood Town FC. It was to be a round robin league, with each team playing five fifteen minute games.
With a strong squad available, our first fixture was against fellow Manchester team Vintage Celtic, one of the more fancied teams in this competition. Despite having the majority of possession and passing the ball around superbly, with many shots on target, we could only score the one goal by Val Mears in a 1-0 win.
Second up were the better of the two Fleetwood teams, Fleetwood Town Flyers Reds. Once again we dominated and came out 2-0 winners thanks to excellent goals from Val Mears and Kevin Williams.
A look at the league table saw us in second place on six points and behind on a goal difference of one to AFC Blackpool Very Senior Seasiders, our next opponents. The Very Seniors, the better of the two Blackpool sides, had fellow Corinthian Wai Hon Tsang playing for them in this tournament.
We probably spent 90% of the game in the Blackpool half but could only muster a single goal from Val Mears to give us a much needed three points and a three point advantage over the Seasiders.
Our penultimate game was versus Fleetwood Town Flyers Whites and once again we dominated to gain a 3-0 win with two goals from Paul O’Neil and one from Kevin Williams.
The final game against AFC Blackpool Senior Seasiders resulted in a 2-0 victory with Val Mears grabbing his fourth goal of the day and debutant Stewart White getting the other.
So it was a first tournament win for the Corinthians with a maximum fifteen points, a massive seven point difference over second placed Vintage Celtic.
Ron Blakeley in goal could have sat in a deckchair, sun hat on, eating an ice cream, he had that little to do. Dave Wilde and Paul Crosby were excellent as attacking defenders, while newcomer Stewart White impressed with some great passing and space finding and got his first Corinthians goal, the first of many hopefully.
What can you say about Bill Charlton and Steve Colesby? Despite their advancing years, when called upon both excelled and played their part in this Fleetwood Over 60’s Tournament April 2018 and showed far younger players what walking football is all about.
Along with Paul Crosby they are part of a strong Corinthians over 65’s squad playing in the National Tournament next month.
We passed the ball around well today, finding space and generally dominating the games. The only negative was the number of shots that missed the target or went well above head height, plus at least a dozen that hit the post. I suppose for only our second tournament, winning it has to be regarded as an excellent outcome but the level of opposition wasn’t up to the standard of the recent Wigan Over 60’s Tournament. However you can only beat what’s put in front of you and to win five games on the trot without conceding a goal makes the future look bright for the Corinthians.
One or two murmurs were apparently heard that we had fielded the cream of the Greater Manchester Walking Football League’s players but isn’t selecting or purchasing the best the case in most successful sides, both in amateur and professional football?
Leeds Titans select their very strong side from four walking football centres and I am sure there are many more examples of this happening nationwide. I make no apologies for wanting to be involved in a team with players who have a desire to be winners, if that offends some people, then tough, get over it.
Thanks to all the lads who turned out today, everyone contributed to our first tournament win, John Bee, Ron Blakeley, Bill Charlton, Steve Colesby, Paul Crosby, Val Mears, Alan Morton (who went AWOL for the photograph), Paul O’Neil, Stewart White, Dave Wilde and Kevin Williams.
Four of us stayed overnight and we met up in Cleveleys for a couple of shandies with the organiser Dave Hirst of the Fleetwood club and fellow Corinthian Steve Hyde of Blackpool. A big thanks to Dave for organising this tournament.
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