“I’m very proud of how everyone pulled together today and implemented the game plan with commitment and enthusiasm. A great performance under difficult conditions. Looking forward to next round of matches.”
John Myatt, Team Manager
Wakefield Wanderers travelled across the Pennines once again to take part in the first matches for the Greater Manchester 65+ Walking Football League held at Heywood Sports Village.
The 65+ League adds to the well established 60+ League that our friends in Greater Manchester have been running for some time. If further teams can be recruited then 2 divisions will be established, but for now the first match day saw 7 sides assemble for a series of games with each side playing 6 games of 10 minutes. The roll call of Clubs involved reads:
Blackpool Senior Seasiders
Preston North End Senior Whites
Vintage Relics (a combination of Vintage Celtic and Bury Relics)
Surprisingly it didn’t rain, but the weather was cold and windy, making it difficult to control the ball and limiting options for any long range passes or shots. Goals were hard to come by and only 14 were scored in the 21 games played, with 4 of those in one particular game and just Preston and Vintage managing any meaningful goals tally with 4 and 3 respectively.
The Wanderers squad was ravaged by illness and injury and were missing Eddie Gibson, John Jones & Mally Wood but the position got even worse when Team Manager John Myatt pulled a calf muscle on Tuesday. With just 6 fit players available (that included under age keeper and lady player alongside 3 over 70s) John took up the offer of receiving Henry Coles as a guest player courtesy of Roach Dynamos who are not currently fielding a 65+ team.
Henry was on the sidelines for the first game but operating in defensive role for the remaining 5 games. Michelle captained the team very ably in John’s absence and was well supported in defence by Paul Waggett and Henry. Striking options were rotated between Rooke, Colin and Dave who all worked hard to carve out openings.
The game plan was to try and maintain clean sheets and if possible pinch a goal along the way. The first part of the plan worked admirably with Martin Burrell dealing effectively with the few shots on goal that came his way - is 6 clean sheets in one day a Club record? The second part was more difficult but Rooky nearly managed to clinch a victory in game 4 against Preston when a strong shot was well saved by the Whites keeper.
At the end of the matches the Wanderers managed to remain unbeaten with six 0-0 draws achieved. This leaves us in joint 4th place with 6 points, but well placed to improve our position when the walking wounded return for round 2.
The full table is available at:
Updated 22:11 - 19 Feb 2018 by David Holbrow