When East Algarve Walking Football were asked to put out a team to play ‘normal’ football against the Wales national Veterans 55+ football team, the invitation was met with much trepidation.
After months expecting to hear the referee’s whistle when they broke into a trot at their weekly Walking Football sessions in Olhão and Tavira, would the team be able to break loose of the shackles? Muscle rub applied, knee and ankle supports stretched over ageing joints and the squads, with a combined age of over 2000 years, were ready for action!
Rival skippers Peter Morgan (Wales) and Charlie Cousins (EAWF) wished each other well and whilst this was no Premier League clash, the standard of play and skill shown were remarkably good. Wales took the lead only to be pegged back by the Algarve side who went ahead 3-1. A late flurry from the Welsh team resulted in a final 5-4 victory for the Celtic nation.
EAWF manager Mark Fox said: “We’ve had a wonderful day and my players have given their all, but I know many of them will find it very difficult to get out of bed tomorrow morning!”
So, it is back to the slower paced Walking Football and anyone over the age of 50 is welcome at the weekly sessions: Tavira (Mondays), Olhão 60+ only (Tuesdays), Vilamoura (Tuesdays), Lagos (Wednesdays) and Olhão (Thursdays).