Manchester Walking Football Over 65 April 2018
The Manchester Walking Football Over 65 April 2018 session was played in a biting wind which saw many players sporting their winter thermals under their football kit. Wooly hats were also the order of the day.
The format changed for this session of the league. With a few complaints that ten minute games weren’t long enough, it was decided that instead of each team playing each other over ten minutes, the fixtures would be halved and twenty minute games would be played.
Unfortunately, with twenty one fixtures over two months, they couldn’t be divided equally, so some teams faced four twenty minute games in this Manchester Walking Football Over 65 April 2018 session. The bonus, or some may not see it that way, was that the teams who played four games in April will only play two in May. Only one complaint was received about this format and just goes to show that whatever you do you just cannot win sometimes.
Of the twelve fixtures played, ten goals were scored, four by runaway leaders Rochdale AFC Strollers. Five games finished in 0-0 draws and that indicates how difficult goals are to come by at Heywood.
With having no team to manage, I had a good look round at some of the other teams on show. I have to admit to being drawn to watch the Rochdale Strollers games. They are by a country mile the best team in this league and a great example of how walking football should be played.
In their final game versus Wakefield Wanderers, another team who play the game in the correct manner, there was not one incident of running by either team, which must be a first in walking football.
Simple, quick accurate passing, finding space, good movement, keeping their shape, no holding on to the ball and of course with no physical contact and no running, they play the game correctly and fully deserve their place at the top of the table. With one session to play in May, they are already out of sight of other teams in the league and have won it already.
Have a look at this video, courtesy of Alan Richards, to see how they play what is a simple game and embody the ethos of walking football.
Leading the table by fourteen points, as mentioned the Strollers are now uncatchable. In second place are Preston North End Senior Whites, three points ahead of third placed Vintage Relics. Wakefield are in fourth spot, on fourteen points, the same as Rochdale Striders, who are fifth, with an inferior goal difference.
AFC Blackpool Senior Seasiders lie sixth with twelve points and Tameside Striders prop up the table on eleven points.
The Golden Boot Award is at present being jointly led by Rochdale Stroller’s Dave Rose and Preston’s Ray Richards, both on five goals each. Rochdale Stroller’s Bill Charlton is on four with another two players both on three. In the Golden Gloves Award once again, which is no surprise, we have a Rochdale Strollers player, Ron Blakeley leading with no goals conceded. Vintage Relic’s Mike Kieran is the only other keeper not to concede but having played fewer games than Ron is in second spot.
Although we have had a few teething problems with this Over 65’s League, hopefully we will have more teams joining us in the Autumn and be able to have two divisions.
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