It only seems like five minutes since we got the idea of this team together. But after the inter-regional trials in Gloucester and the over 70s cup in Worcester we knew we had the core of a good squad of players. We were delighted to be given this early opportunity to show what we could do, and we are very grateful to Guernsey for organising this event. The squad was picked to represent all of our regions and the players selected were:
Dave Seddon. Hartshill Strollers
Terry Fletcher. Nottingham Bramcote. Captain
Keith Mortimer. Stroud
Alan Brown. Wigan Walkers
Alan Ogden. Hinckley
Keith Harris. Xcel Walton
Mike Dore. Cirencester Phoenix Blue
Neil Willetts. Man City
Johnny Malloy. Grimsby Ancient Mariners
Despite some misgivings about the weather, we all managed to arrive on time at the island, and full credit to the Guernsey team for being able to make some late and hasty adjustments when the Guernsey FC ground became unavailable due to the weather, and we transferred to the excellent £G facility on the island. It is a great credit to the lads that we were able to get ourselves organised with just an hour or so training session.
I was a very proud moment to watch the ladies play their first match. But listening to the national anthems for the first time was a memorable experience. And despite the rain, the quality of the football was very high. England dominated the early exchanges with captain Terry Fletcher organising from the back, and Alan Ogden and Johnny Molloy looking working well together and threatening up front. They created a number of chances but the goal wouldn’t come. Finally, England managed to break down the Guernsey defence to take the lead through Johnny Molloy. However, a lapse of concentration, and some good work by the home team gave them the opportunity to equalise minutes later. The game settled into a pattern of possession and dominance by England which finally paid off with another goal by Molloy. As the game moved to the final quarter, both teams were playing the torrential rain as much as each other, but the game was played out with quality and great spirit.
This was an excellent first outing for the team, and things look good for the future of over 70s football. We have to thank our friends in Guernsey for putting together a brilliant programme despite the problems with the weather, but the 70s team and the ladies bonded together with our hosts in an unforgettable first international experience.
We look forward now to many more.
Dr Gareth Lewis
Manager over 70s