CAMERON MARSHALL’S BLOG
Walking Football County Cup Final: Saturday 23 February
I’ll start off this blog by saying that Walking Football is a format of the sport which is completely new to me, so I was stepping into the unknown in many ways when I attended Northamptonshire FA’s first-ever Walking Football County Cup at Goals Northampton on Saturday.
What I saw on the day was a huge amount of entertainment with fantastic goals, relentless passion and a lovely sense of camaraderie among the players and teams. There is no surprise that Walking Football is the fastest growing sport for over 50s.
The County Cup tournament consisted of 13 teams, with 10 being from Northamptonshire, which was great to see. The structure of the tournament consisted of a group stage and then a knockout phase, so doing well in the group meant qualification for the quarter finals.
In the group games it was goals galore from Kettering, who demonstrated great pressing and fast build-up play. Meanwhile, Moulton entered six teams (right) and showed a lovely community feel on and off the pitch with their kind sportsmanship.
In the knockout stages, two teams – Northampton Town (below) and Birmingham City – dominated with attacking styles of play, setting up a mouth-watering final.
The final was just as eye-catching to watch and both sides had great chances to win, but the contest headed for penalties. Both ‘keepers made some great saves in the shoot-out, but it was Northampton who were able to hold their nerve and clinch the inaugural crown.
As I come to the end of this blog, there are a few things I’d like to say. First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed my day observing the action and mingling with kind, lovely people.
Furthermore, I’d like to mention Georgia, Stuart and the other Northamptonshire FA staff. It’s been wonderful seeing them put a massive shift in to make the tournament such a success; it really tugged a heartstring of mine. Finally, after watching the action on Saturday, I can firmly say that I’ve become a Walking Football fan myself – and would certainly encourage over 50s to give it a go.
By Cameron Marshall