Our adult PAN-disability team took a trip over to Moston last Friday, to take on the FC United of Manchester disability team at Broadhurst Park for a friendly fixture.
We played three fifteen minutes games, with FC United running out 4-1 winners on the night, Daniel Heath, was on the score sheet for us, in what was a great forty five minutes of football, where all of our team got the same amount of game time as each other.
The squad for the game was –
Michael Bethwaite (Manager)
Craig Holowcyzk (GK)
Lee Barrowclough (GK and Captain Game Three)
Sam Jackson (Captain Game One)
Daniel Heath Heath (Captain Game Two)
Well played everyone! We will be hosting another disability friendly v FC United of Manchester, this coming Tuesday (19th) at Bower Fold, on the pitch prior to the first team friendly between the two teams.
Also, during half time on Tuesday, we will be presenting the trophies for the disability team from the 2016/17 season.
Up for grabs are – Player of the Year (voted by the disability team players), Manager of the Year, Sports Person of the Year and Most improved Player of the Year.
The team will also be awarded a trophy from the Stalybridge Carnival, held last month, for being coming first in the ‘Highest Collection’ and sixth in the ‘Best Walking Group’.
You can follow our Disability Team on Facebook at Stalybridge Celtic Foundation Ability Counts.
Vintage Celtic Win The Life Leisure Stockport Walking Football Tournament
The Life Leisure Stockport Tournament was a first venture for this organisation in setting up a walking football tournament and it was a great success. This Tournament had no age classification and speaking to the organiser, he admitted that some players could even be under 50.
The 2 teams we entered in this tournament were Vintage Celtic and the Blue Vints. The Vintage Celtic team had an average age of 66 and came up against some teams 10 or more years younger. The Blue Vints team had a slightly younger average age of 60.
In their group, Vintage Celtic finished top with 2 wins and a draw, 13 goals scored with 2 against. Blue Vints finished bottom of their group with 2 losses and a draw, 3 goals for and 6 against.
In the semi-final of this Life Leisure Stockport Tournament, Vintage Celtic were again not at their best but had the most scoring chances. The opposition were Stockport County 1. Unfortunately we came up against a terrific keeper who saved numerous shots that would have been goals with a less competent custodian.
This game finished in a 0-0 draw and went to penalties. This resulted in a 3-2 win on penalties and put us into the final. It was justice after all as we were the dominant team.
The final of this Life Leisure Stockport Tournament put us up against the Life Leisure Kingsway team, winners of the other round robin group. They were a very good side, albeit far younger than us but we had slightly more possession. Paul O’Neil opened the scoring to give Celtic a 1-0 lead. Shortly afterwards Kingsway scored an equaliser but with only a couple of minutes left Paul again came to Celtic’s rescue with another goal to make it a 2-1 victory and another trophy for Vintage Celtic.
Vintage Celtic played some terrific football and were without doubt the best team in the tournament.
This was Vintage Celtic’s 3rd trophy win in 5 weeks and it meant that 2017 would be their most successful year since being established 2½ years ago. That makes it 7 trophy wins all told, with hopefully more to come, to add to the 5 Runners Up awards as well.
For the full report on this tournament and photographs click here.
Vintage Celtic Cheshire Walking Football Spring League 2017 Champions
Vintage Celtic made it 2 winners trophies in 6 days. Competing in the Cheshire Walking Football League Championship Division for the first time, Vintage Celtic Over 60’s came out winners by 4 clear points over nearest rivals Crewe Alexandra.
We had regulars Brian Coll, Paul O’Neil and Eric Williams missing from this session of the Spring League but it was good to see Dave Hardy back in action after his millionaire lifestyle worldwide cruise.
Leading the division by 3 points prior to Thursday’s final Spring league session, it was never a formality that we would make it 2 trophy wins in 6 days. In fact due to our abysmal start it began to look highly unlikely.
Once again we suffered from first match syndrome in the game against Northgate Rovers. Passes were going astray, we were holding on to the ball too long and being caught in possession. Some suicide passes across the middle of the defence would have been punished had the Northgate team fielded a decent striker. In their defence our lads did say that the pitch was playing very slow and took time to adjust to.
In the event this first game finished in a 0-0 draw and it was hoped we would improve in the next match against nearest rivals Crewe Alexandra, who were now 4 points behind but a game in hand. It was imperative that we didn’t lose, as to do so would mean the title would be Crewe’s to lose.
Our performance in this encounter was much improved and to be honest we never looked like losing. In fact we had a few decent chances to secure the 3 points. The best was a glaring miss by Keith Whitmore. Keith, playing in defence, found himself up front with only the keeper to beat. He sent the keeper diving the wrong way with an excellent feint, rounded him and with an empty net facing him then hit the ball wide of the post. This was highly frustrating at the time as it would have left us with a 7 point advantage and meant we couldn’t be caught.
This crucial match finally finished in another 0-0 draw and was our eighth in succession in competitive league walking football. It meant we still had a 4 point advantage over Crewe with one game to play so the situation was a win for Celtic would make them champions even if Crewe won their final 2 matches. Normally we would have played 4 games in this league session but 1874 Northwich failed to field a team, so the other remaining 4 teams were all given a 1-0 walkover result over Northwich.
Celtic’s final game was versus Neston Nomads and our continuing improvement gave us the majority of possession but still we couldn’t find the net. The closest we came to scoring was a thunderous shot by Keith Burrows that hit the crossbar.
With 5 minutes to go before the final whistle, and just another point looking likely, plus the possibility of Crewe winning their final 2 games to beat us to the title by 1 point, the situation was saved by Barry Whitmore. Barry, never a striker as he will readily admit, beat the Neston keeper with a great goal from a very narrow angle.
We played out the remaining minutes and Barry had saved the day for us as we now couldn’t be caught. In the event Crewe were beaten 1-0 by Northgate Rovers in their second game but still gave us some nervous moments on the day.
Looking at Vintage Celtic’s results in this Cheshire Walking Football League and the Greater Manchester Walking Football Over 60’s League, I discovered Celtic had gone on a 29 match unbeaten run in the combined leagues.
Thanks to all the 13 lads who contributed to this campaign, in alphabetical order Tom Burns, Keith Burrows, Brian Coll, Derek Drabble, Gordon Fenton, Stuart Greaves, Dave Hardy, Mike Kieran, Paul O’Neil, Riddy Walker, Barry Whitmore, Keith Whitmore and Eric Williams.
Follow Vintage Celtic on Twitter @bluevints or Facebook – Stalybridge Celtic Foundation Vintage Celtic
Vintage Celtic Win The Greater Manchester Walking Football Over 60’s Spring League
Vintage Celtic were crowned GMWF Over 60’s Spring League 2017 Champions recently over at Heywood Sports Village.
With teams initially being allocated divisions through selection out of the hat, and promotion and relegation after each monthly session, eventually the better teams found their way into Division One.
In this final session of the 2017 Spring League, Vintage Celtic, were without two important players. The two were the league’s top striker, up to and including the April session, Paul O’Neil, and play maker and Captain, Brian Coll. Added to this, the fact that Barry Whitmore was unable to play in all four games due to other arrangements on the day, it was always going to be squeaky bum time before we could be confident of winning the league. Vintage Celtic started this final league session with a four point advantage over second placed Nash Amblers.
Vintage Celtic started with a 0-0 draw against Rochdale Strollers, a team always difficult to gain points against, and the outcome was a fair conclusion to the game. With nearest rivals, Nash Amblers, beating Chadderton FC WF 1-0 on the adjacent pitch, it meant that Vintage Celtic’s four point lead at the top of the combined division standings was reduced to two points and this didn’t instil confidence in the prospect of becoming league champions.
Next up came Chadderton FC WF, another team we had only beaten once in this Spring season. Chadderton FC WF always seem to play well against us, and once again we managed to hold on for a 0-0 draw. So now we had a 3 point advantage over the Nash Amblers, who had a game in hand on Vintage Celtic.
The third encounter was against Bolton Wanderers, who had just been beaten 3-0 by Rochdale Strollers. This time Vintage Celtic were the dominant team but despite a few chances we just couldn’t put the ball in the Bolton net. Riddy Walker had to be replaced in this game due to an old injury flaring up. Once again the result was a 0-0 draw and with the Nash Amblers going down to a 2-1 loss against Rochdale Strollers, Vintage Celtic now were back to a four point advantage but having played a game more.
Vintage Celtic’s final match in this May session was the the encounter which could decide the league winners, Vintage Celtic’s fourth game on the trot, the game against Nash Amblers. With Vintage Celtic down to the bare bones and no substitutes available it was hoped no further injuries would be incurred.
Neither side could afford to lose this game and despite Vintage Celtic having slightly more possession than the Nash Amblers, the match finished 0-0. With very few chances to either side and neither looking a threat on goal, it was a fair result and meant that Vintage Celtic couldn’t be caught even if their nearest rivals won their last game. In the event the Nash Amblers drew against Bolton Wanderers to give Vintage Celtic a three point advantage at the top.
So it was Vintage Celtic GMWF Spring League 2017 Champions and the fifth winners trophy, to add to the five runners up awards, in the Vintage Celtic cabinet in their 2½ years existence. With Nash Amblers finishing runners up, it meant the two Tameside teams finished first and second in this inaugural season of the GMWF Over 60’s League.
Now to the players who made it Vintage Celtic GMWF Spring League 2017 Champions. First, Mike Kieran, our 71 year old goalkeeper. With fifteen games played in this Spring league, Mike has kept fourteen clean sheets and fully deserved the Golden Gloves trophy he was presented with at the after match award winners ceremony. Well done Mike, and despite all the mickey taking, what would we do without you?
Vintage Celtic are lucky to have some excellent defenders who conceded only one goal in a fifteen match unbeaten run and that was an own goal. You could pick any three from six without weakening the side, all have done a magnificent job. Our absent Captain, Brian Coll, the ever improving Eric Williams, Keith Whitmore, Tony Wade, Riddy Walker and Barry Whitmore. Barry covers more ground than any two other players, in every match, despite his advancing years.
Up front, the ever dependable Derek Drabble and the absent Paul O’Neil, who is a nightmare for any defender to play against. Keith Burrows has also been a valuable addition to the striking squad in this tournament. In this session Martin Dunkerley stood in for Paul. This was Martin’s first venture into walking football and he later admitted that he found it strange after being use to playing normal small sided football.
Martin performed admirably on the day, shielding and holding the ball up well, despite some questionable challenges by defenders unable to master him. With little support up front, unfortunately his normal shooting skills were limited on the day. Hopefully Martin will appear for us again as he did enjoy the occasion and with Paul alongside him, what a striking duo that would make.
Last but certainly not least, two guys who accept their playing involvement will be limited but never the less always show up at the league sessions. In Gordon Fenton and Mike Taylor, we have two excellent club men whose commitment is appreciated by all the lads and especially by me. Fortunately, in this session they were able to get some game time by guesting for Maccabi Old Codgers and AFC Blackpool Very Senior Seasiders respectively.
Vintage Celtic have the possibility of adding another trophy on Thursday, 11th May, in the Cheshire Walking Football League down in Northwich, it is all to play for and let’s hope we can maintain our momentum and come away champions once more.
Follow Vintage Celtic on Twitter @bluevints or Facebook – Stalybridge Celtic Foundation Vintage Celtic
FA Community Shield Fund Distribution 2016
Our Easter Monday fixture versus Chorley FC, was designated as a ‘Charity Day’, with four local charities invited to Bower Fold, to raise awareness of the work each individual charity does and to raise valuable funds.
We welcomed the Anthony Seddon Fund, a mental health charity, based in Ashton-under-Lyne, to the game to carry out a ‘Bucket Collection’, as one of our six official collections of the season. A big thank you to those who donated on the day.
As part of the FA Charity Shield, the annual curtain raiser to the Football season, the club were awarded £2,000, along with other Football clubs in the pyramid, to distribute to local charities.
Rather than give the whole amount to one charitable organisation, we decided to split it between three. A cheque for £1,000 was given to Willow Wood Hospice, as part of the clubs longstanding support to the Hospice, £500 was given to The Believe and Achieve Trust, who have been our chosen Community Development charity this season, and a further £500 was given to Reuben’s Retreat, who we have been working with for the past two seasons.
Our thanks go to the Football Association for the very kind donation, I know all three charities really appreciated it.
If you would like to nominate a Charity to be part of our match day ‘Bucket Collection’s’ next season, contact Mike Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
Design A Mother’s Day Card
Stalybridge Celtic FC Community Development have recently delivered a competition for KS2 children across Stalybridge Primary Schools, to design a Mother’s Day card to give to their Mum on Mother’s Day.
The competition, part of our Active Goals Schools Programme, was carried out throughout March, giving the children plenty of time to get their ideas and designs together to produce their card.
Each school chose a winner to represent their school, with all the winning entries being judged by Stalybridge Celtic FC staff and staff from competition sponsors, Four Season’s Florists (Stalybridge), who provided the bouquet of flowers to all the school winners.
The overall winner was Isaac from Silver Springs Academy on Ridge Hill, who got to present his mum with a bouquet of flowers, along with his winning design.
‘A well deserved win for a mum who always goes the extra mile!’ – Silver Springs Academy
‘The children enjoyed the project and it was nice that it was linked to where they come from’ – Millbrook Primary
Stalybridge Celtic FC Community Development Officer, Mike Smith ‘We realise that not everyone wants to kick a football about with us, and this is a great way to engage with local children and get them involved with the club, without actually playing football. Our thanks go to E. Petch Printers (Stalybridge) and Four Seasons Florists for help and support for the project and to our funding partner, The National League Trust’
For more information on our Active Goals Programme, contact Mike Smith, Community Development Officer, Stalybridge Celtic FC on 0161-338-2828 or email the link Community At Stalybridge Celtic