Mansfield Town’s Senior Walking Footballers have created memories to treasure, after leaving a national Walking Football Tournament, held at St George’s Park, with a medal following their participation in the ‘One Tournament’
The National Tournament is held yearly and is a full day of football for all ages, with the Stags’ Walking Football squad entering in the Super 5s Series – Over 50s Walking Football tournament.
Representing Mansfield Town Football in the Community were members from our popular Walking Football sessions who were split into two teams – Mansfield Town Yellow, and Mansfield Town Blue – both in the Over 50s section, across two groups.
The winners from each group would then compete for the Super 5s Series – Over 50s Walking Football cup, playing a semi-final against the runner up of the opposing group, with teams finishing in fourth and fifth going against their counterparts in the opposite group in semi-finals, for the Super 5s Series.
Community Coach Alex Cartwright said “I’m really proud of our walking football squad as a collective; this is a national competition and is extremely competitive with the format giving all teams the opportunity to take home some silverware.
“I’d like to express my thanks to the tournament organisers for the invitation and am already looking forward to next year’s competition, where we can hopefully progress further having accumulated more game time”
Being separated into the separate groups allowed the Stags more opportunity to reach the semi-final stages, however it was only Mansfield Town Blue who did enough to qualify – finishing second in Group B to participate in the Super 5s Series – Over 50s Walking Football Cup, where they were eliminated at the semi-final stage, at the hands of Group A winners Stamford Strollers.
Mansfield Town Blue got off to an unbeaten start with a goalless draw against Asha Healthcare, before being handed an automatic 3-0 victory over Luton, who withdrew from the tournament late on. Game three ended in a defeat at the hands off Northampton Town before goals from Alan Wilson and John Burnet secured a 2-0 victory over Mancom in game four. Another goalless draw followed in game five, the final group match, as the Stags were held by Harborough Hornets.
Mansfield Town yellow faced a much tougher test and were beaten 3-0 by Wokingham & Emmbrook in their opening group game. Two more defeats followed, as the yellows fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of #Taggers and another 3-0 loss to Stamford Strollers.
Two goals from Aidy Spencer then put the Stags into a 2-1 lead over AFC Wimbledon in game four, a very harsh late penalty denied the seniors a victory as the Dons secured the point, a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Watford Walkers in game five then ended the yellows’ journey.
Speaking on the feats of the two sides, Alex Cartwright added “whilst we split the squads at random, a lot of the players on the yellow team hadn’t had much tournament experience and that showed in the first couple of games, however the way they played against AFC Wimbledon with the two goals the guys can be very proud of and it’s given us a platform to build upon.
“The blues did really well in getting through to the semi-final stage with the 2-0 win over Mancom earning the second placed finish, with a little more luck here and there – they’d have topped the group.
“Obviously in terms of this tournament people will look at it as the two teams, but we look at it as squad and everyone who attended, regardless of which team they were on, supported each other and that’s what we will take away from this tournament – that as a collective, we’ve reached a semi-final and taken home medals for the club”
Sadly for the Stags Blue, the semi-final was the end of the line, as they lost 2-0 to eventual winners Stamford Strollers.
The Stags will now look forward to their next competition, the Walter Edwards Memorial Trophy – which will be held at the RH Academy in July. New participants, aged 45 and over, are welcome at our Walking Football sessions which take place on Wednesday’s (RH Academy, 6-7pm) and Saturday’s (One Call Stadium 9-10pm) costing £4 per player – for further information email firstname.lastname@example.org