The Strides of March !
WATCH: Striders v. Blackpool Very Snr.Seasiders 0- 1. Video <click>
WATCH: Striders v. Rochdale Striders 0- 0 <here>
WATCH: Rochdale Strollers v. Striders 0 -0 <here>
WATCH: Striders v. Preston N.E. Snr. Whites <click> (with audio commentary)
WATCH: Vintage Relics v. Wakefield Wanderers (most of the match) <here>
WATCH: Striders v. Vintage Relics (most of the match) is <online here>
All we were saying, was give us a goal. Travelling support of two on the touchline today almost got a song going but there was not the response from a team that huffed and puffed and threatened and squandered in equal measure.
That said we were an improvement on last month.
The opening game against Blackpool Very Senior Seasiders was our only defeat. They got one chance really, and took it, finding space just outside the ‘D’ due to defensive confusion about who should be where. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
We were awarded a penalty for ingress but Gordon Nixon’s kick was saved by the goalkeeper.
Next we moved on to face the first of the two Rochdale teams. Striders and Strollers, both of whom edged us out of the points last time. This month we were better especially against the stronger Strollers. We persevered and defended well, with real openings that promised but never quite delivered. Caldwell and Brodie up front carved out a couple of chances but goals are so hard to come by. To emerge from these games with two points was marked progress. Strollers won most of their other matches today. We rode our luck at times but a draw was a fair result.
Of 21 games played today FIFTEEN ended in goalless draws! Next months format of three 20 minute games should yield more successful strikes. Just let’s hope we register a few ourselves.
Proud Preston next. A more physical encounter with both teams guilty of more contact than normal. We donned green shirts played well. Going fairly close on two or three occasions. Joe Bemrose had a particularly good game in this one. Linking up with Richards going forward. Fielding and Nixon were solid at the back and Keith Burrows in goal and solid throughout was equal to the few problems Preston posed. It finished in a stalemate again.
Vintage Relics were not in the same form they found against us last time. Sweeping us aside three goals to nil today they found stiffer resistance and some threat from Striders going forward too. Another nil-niller – and I heard the Relics figured in SIX nil-nil draws today.
We wound up with Wakefield Wanderers on Pitch 1. They had arrived late but soon got up to speed. A good game this, and one we perhaps thought we could have won going into it. Wanderers threatened to score though we had the lions share of play I think it’s just about fair to say. Goalless again of course. Another game – as they all were – played in a good spirit with low level physicality in the non-contact format. Our Preston game was maybe the exception but there was nothing malicious going on.
Thanks to the Referees who all received positive feedback for their performances. To the organisers too. An on time kick off and no wasted time between games. Plus chocolate biscuits !
The weather was no better or worse than we have come to expect. A satisfying day which might not see us climbing off the bottom, but I think we’ll all felt a little better on the journey home. See you in April. Video will appear as and when….
The Organisers official report is here <click>
The Badger’s are back on the road this week with the March fixtures of the Greater Manchester Walking Football league at Heywood Sports Village.
Colin Fielding is back to boost the squad defensively but Barry Smith bows out after reinforcing the team last month. A vote of thanks to Barry for stepping in. We travel with a nine man squad.
Fixtures will follow the same pattern as last time. We’ll kick off against Blackpool Very Senior Seasiders on pitch two with Garry Pearce Refereeing. Last months game brought a nil-nil draw in that cold, hostile wind. Let’s hope this weeks weather is a little more benign.
‘Plan A’ means the line up for the opening game will be Burrows: Nixon:Bemrose Fielding:Conroy:Richards
Assuming there are no injuries all nine members of the squad will feature in at least three games. Richards, Fielding and Nixon will step out of the team for the second game. We go to Heywood as a unit and in line with past practice and group philosophy, everyone will get plenty of time on the pitch. Playing time in total is an hour so look to get half an hour minimum.
Next up we face two consecutive games on Pitch Three against local opposition. Rochdale Striders and Strollers. Last time out both teams found the goal which is so eluding us at the moment to seal one nil victories. We won’t want to be pointless against these two for a second time so we need to up our game. We weren’t really applying ourselves to the maximum last time so lets hope a change of attitude can bring a change in fortunes. Forward players will need to be willing to track back. Strollers are always difficult opponents and Striders seem to have improved so we will need to sharpen up our act to get anything from these games. With Strollers playing in white last time we will take our green shirts to slip on and avoid the need for bibs. Alan Graham will Referee both of these games.
Preston Senior Whites will await us next back on Pitch 2 so we may well be in green once more. This was quite a keen contest in February but neither team could find a breakthrough. Again ‘Plan A’ has Nixon and Fielding back for this one with Bemrose, Richards and Jarvis making space and providing the ‘out ball’, with a willingness to defend when the need arises.
Over to Pitch One for our final two matches of the round. By now we will know how our morning is shaping up. Vintage Relics punished some defensive frailty last time with Colin Cuthbert rampant, and registering a hat trick for his team. We will have to hope the stable pairing of Nixon and Fielding who will feature as a defensive partnership in at least half of the games on Thursday , along with Mike Conroy in defensive mode can repel the Relics whilst hoping for some forward success for Peter Jarvis and Mike Caldwell. Referee Mike Willmore will officiate, this one and our last game.
Wakefield Wanderers are our final opponents. With Brodie and Caldwell, hopefully in mobile mood returning to present our best chances of a goal in this one, with Nixon, Bemrose and Richards behind them looking for openings to exploit. Maybe we can go one better than a goalless draw we played out last month.
Keith Burrows our ‘underage’ ‘keeper will obviously start all six games. All the other squad members will play at least three games each. Be prepared to step out of the team, even if we have just won a game or you’ve scored or played particularly well. This is a collective approach and the one under which we entered the competition. We go to Heywood as a unit and as a unit we take our chances. See you Thursday if not before
Plan A: Teams. v. Blackpool VSS Burrows/Nixon/Fielding/Bemrose/Richards/Conroy
v. Rochdale Striders Burrows/Conroy/Bemrose/Jarvis/Brodie/Caldwell
v. Rochdale Strollers Burrows/ Conroy/ Fielding/ Jarvis/Brodie/Cadlwell
v. Preston S.W. Burrows/ Nixon/Fielding/Bemrose/Richards/Jarvis
v. Vintage Relics Burrows/ Nixon/Fielding/Conroy/Jarvis/Caldwell
v.Wakefield Wdrs. Burrows/Nixon/Bemrose/Richards/Brodie/Caldwell
None of this is set in stone, we must obviously remain fluid and adaptable with a ‘Plan B’ to hand. If you have any views on any of this please make them known during the course of this coming week. If our fortunes do not improve we’ll look at other methods of selection for the April round, I’ll happily see others step into the ‘managerial’ role if they feel they can do better with the players we have available. We might even look outside the squad itself for management if we struggle again this time.
We just need two or three goals from somewhere to put a very different complexion on things……so let’s enjoy looking for them.
A bad case of wind !
Spring Lge. session February 15th.2018.
A bitingly cold, howling wind was the most noticeable feature at Heywood today. The clouds were scudding by overhead but it stayed dry.
We played six ten minute matches five minutes each way in the interests of fairness due to wind strength..
The first game versus Blackpool Very Senior Seasiders finished goalless , like several others on the day. We were not very fluent in any of our matches and although we managed to get a few shots on target throughout, we didn’t register any goals.
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Rochdale Striders beat us one-nil. Neither team looked worthy winners to be fair. But Conroy and Smith both had good shots go close. A bit of a mix up at the back between players not used to playing there gave Rochdale their goal.
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Their fellow Rochdale men, the Strollers got the upper hand on us also by the one goal. Again Smith and Conroy made their ‘keeper work but we weren’t fully at the races in this one, a lack of focus and quite honestly some lack of effort was our downfall. We missed our defender Colin Fielding today. We had too many attack minded players in the squad and the imbalance was plain to see. If anyone wants to assume the roll of ‘Manager’ next month to maybe better motivate the players feel free to speak up. You do not need to be in the squad, or Over 65.
Nixon re-entered the fray, and Richards got his first game in the next one v. Preston North End Senior Whites. Work rate was enhanced slightly and we made a slightly better fist of it but still couldn’t score. They were awarded a penalty (ingress Gordon Nixon) and duly scored the kick – however there were several steps on the way to striking the ball. Possibly the worst one step penalty I’ve seen.
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Vintage Relics (apparently a Bury/Stalybridge combo) were next up. This team were well on top to be honest. There was a wind assisted first goal from Cuthbert but in the second half he added two more for an emphatic hat-trick. Given the nature of these leagues he may be half way towards the ‘Golden Boot’ already ! Well done Colin, and due credit to the Relics, the best team we faced on the day.
- – – – – – – –
With Wakefield Wanderers our final opposition yours truly bowed out of a third game and started packing up. Another 0 – 0 this one, with little in the way of excitement . Some more good play from Conroy, Bemrose and Jarvis this time but once again we drew a blank.
Never mind, we shall return and it could have been worse ! The Referee’s were all good – although those assessor reports are not easy to write in strong wind with very cold hands and with just 5 minutes between most games it’s a job I could have done without.
The Referees were all competent and confident. We saw little in the way of contact but there were runners in every team. With such very short games, to be ever on the whistle would double the frustration of players so common sense was applied. The organisers did the best that can be done with the circumstances, and the numbers but the games were very short indeed and along with the laziest of winds detracted from the overall enjoyment as much as our disappointing results. But…never mind. Onwards and upwards towards March now – we might be propping up the table as things stand. No photo’s due to operator malfunction.
- Some video here – tongue in cheek. No doubt some will not get the initial attempt at humour. As I learn everyday – you can’t please everyone.
- <gett sett for spring>
- Next game for the Strider group….Badgers at Burnley
Latest news: There will be ONE division of seven teams. This is preferable to two of 4 & 3. Each team will play every other in a ten minute game. Short, I know but we get an hour. There is a very short break between five of our games. We should have a squad of eight this month (Feb) and as we are a
pretty fit bunch of Pensioners so I think we’ll be okay. The fixtures come at us in this in this order: Blackpool VSS on pitch 2 :Rochdale Striders :Rochdale Strollers on pitch 3
Preston N.E. Senior Whites 2 (poss.colour clash) : Vintage Relics pitch 1 (not sure if Bury or Celtic) Five minutes max between all those games then after a fifteen minute break we close with a game on pitch 1 versus Wakefield Wanderers.
Meet at Heywood Sports Village, West Starkie Street, Heywood for 10-00am. Games will kick off at 11-00am. but we need to register, change and warm-up.
Photo I.D. essential. Shin pads COMPULSORY – no exceptions. We need to think how we’re getting up there and it would make sense to maximise vehicle and seats if we can. Let’s think about it. Almost everyone has paid their entry fee. Barry Smith has answered an S.O.S. call this month and will be welcome to stick with the squad if he wants too throughout the Spring campaign
We play in our now traditional white shirts, black shorts black and white socks. I’ll have a set of new red bibs in case of clashes. I think only Preston will present that problem and as they are listed as the ‘home’ team in our fixture the onus is on them to change colour. Take refreshment and an energy boost – it’s easy to forget. We will only substitute in emergencies but the team selections will roll to give everyone more or less equal game time. I have copies of the ‘code of conduct’ and it appears here somewhere too. If you’re new to Heywood please read it. Referees will be strict (rightly so) there is zero tolerance of the unpleasant aspects of this game which can still surface sometimes – even amongst blokes older than 65. Treat the day as a fun trip out – an away day – results matter but are not important . It should be good, let’s hope we enjoy it.
The all NEW Over 65 league kicks off on February 15th. Fixtures announced soon. Major differences this year :- PENALTY AWARDS AGAINST ‘AGGRESSIVE & RECKLESS PLAY’
PENALTY AWARDS FOR REPEATED INDIVIDUAL RUNNING.
GOALS ARE HARD TO COME BY HERE SO BE CAREFUL.
Shin pads are compulsory. No pads no game. NO BUS PASS I.D.please.
IMPORTANT:ALL PLAYERS READ THIS ‘CODE of CONDUCT’ AND ABIDE BY IT….
Greater Manchester Walking Football Code of Conduct
Welcome to Greater Manchester Walking Football.
Please can you read through this short document which has been put together to ensure all players understand how we are trying to develop the Greater Manchester Walking Football events moving forward.
Could we ask that this document is shared by the club Managers/Organisers with all current players participating and also given to any new players joining any of our events in the future.
While participating in any of the Greater Manchester Walking Football events everyone follows the Code of Conduct outlined below. The following Code of Conduct is designed to support the current rules and enhance the present game, promoting its further devolvement.
Any person participating in any of the Greater Manchester Walking Football events agrees to abide by the Code of Conduct set out below.
Code of Conduct
Check that all the players registered to take part are in the agreed age category on the day of the matches. Ensure current and new players have had an opportunity to read the Code of Conduct. Communicate to all players and supporters that any articles/photos or information shared on social media in relation to any Greater Manchester Walking Football events should be designed to help to promote its development in the future in a positive way.
Players at all times should:
Abide by the Laws of the Game understanding that the Referees decision is final. Not run or jog on or off the ball, including the goalkeeper. Ensure they play Non-Contact walking football. Promote and endorse Fair Play. Respect themselves, fellow competitors and officials. Abide by and accept in good grace the decisions of the officials. Never engage in gamesmanship, bullying, intimidatory or unsporting behaviour. Never engage in offensive, insulting, abusive or disrespectful language towards any other person or persons.
Thank you for being part of the Greater Manchester Walking Football programme of events, we look forward to seeing you soon.
NEXT: the fixtures…coming soon