Manchester Walking Football March 2017 – Another Excellent Session Of The Spring League
Manchester Walking Football March 2017 proved to be an another excellent day for walking football in the Greater Manchester Over 60’s Walking Football League.
With Bolton Wanderers joining the league it meant 5 teams in Division 1 and 4 teams in Division 2. Despite the new FA rules on walking football, which there is some controversy over, we have decided to stick with the WFU version, certainly for this Spring season.
The weather started fine but towards the final few games the rain descended. After the recent snowfalls, it was a relief to complete the fixtures in this Manchester Walking Football March 2017 session without disruption.
There were only 6 goals scored in Division 1, with an incredible five 0-0 draws, three 1-0 victories and the most goals scored were in a 2-1 victory for Vintage Celtic against Chadderton FC WF. AFC Blackpool Senior Seasiders drew all their four games 0-0 and with last months results they have played 7 and drawn 7. They have only scored one goal in the seven games but thanks to excellent goalkeeping by Steve Hyde have only conceded one as well. Steve stands alongside Vintage Celtic’s 71 year old goalkeeper Mike Kieran as the only two keepers to have conceded one goal in seven games. The usually dependable Rochdale AFC Strollers dropped seven points and stand third in Division 1. Rochdale Striders finished bottom of the table and are relegated to Division 2 for the April session.
In Division 2 new boys Bolton Wanderers had a good start with victories over Maccabi Old Codgers and Nash Amblers. They drew their other game to gain seven points, head the table and are promoted to Division 1 for the April session. Newly relegated Fleetwood Town Flyers had a mixed day with one win, one draw and one defeat. Maccabi and Nash Amblers prop up the Division 2 table with three points apiece, the Codgers bottom on goal difference.
All the results and tables for the Manchester Walking Football March 2017 session can be accessed here or just use the Fixtures,Results & Tables tab on the website menu. They can also be seen on our FA Full Time website Division 1 and Division 2.
A massive thanks must go out to the Fleetwood Town Flyers who provided pies and cakes for all teams after the fixtures, thanks lads but sad to say Rochdale AFC Strollers and Vintage Celtic missed out as they were still playing in the final match.
My own impression of the refereeing on the day, from what I saw in this Manchester Walking Football March 2017 session, was excellent and this comment on a forum from one of my players sums it up as well as the day in general. So a big thanks to the three referees Dave Brooks, Matt Howells and Mike Willmore. Out of the three referees, I watched Mike most of the time and he later told me that despite being a fully qualified FA referee, this was the first time he had officiated at walking football. His was one of the best displays I have ever seen in this version of the beautiful game. This just shows that the game can prosper if we have decent referees.
Hopefully we can increase the numbers in the April session. One club mentioned entering another team and a couple of other teams are still in the pipeline. 5 teams per division seems to be the optimum number for game time in the allotted time span but please be patient with us as when we reach 12 teams it will mean 3 divisions of 4 until we can recruit more teams. Eventually we hope to have 5 divisions of 5 teams competing but that is still a long way off.
Thanks once again to Paul Gardner who helped to run the occasion with his usual aplomb and it was good to see his catering skills come to the fore after the fixtures. Paul, please save us some pies next time!
Personally, I think this league is now showing how walking football should be played and hopefully can go from strength to strength with the addition of more teams. There were very few incidents of over physicality and running is being clamped down on by the excellent referees. Sportsmanship is to the fore and the day is now a social occasional as well with teams beginning to get to know one another.
It’s becoming obvious that the over 60’s version of walking football is beginning to take off and as front runners in this concept I think we are showing the way forward.
What are your opinions of the day, do you have any suggestions as to how we can improve things or indeed any compliments on how we have done so far?