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LATEST NEWS

Kane Called Up For England debut

One of Winchester Walking Football Club's newest members, John Kane, has been selected to make his debut for England Over 75s against the Republic of Ireland Over 70s at Evesham on 12 June.

Kane joined the club earlier this year, having moved to the city from Bournemouth.

Midfielder Kane was selected for England after playing for Dorset and then South West Counties. As a result of his performances at inter regional games he was invited for an England trial this month and his full call-up has followed.

In his younger days Kane played in the Lancashire League for Oldham for seven years and moved to Dorset in his 30s when he continued to play for his village team in the Dorset League.

An article from the Hampshire Chronicle dated 4 April 2024 about our recent defibrillator training 

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An article in the April 2024 edition of the Winchester Forum magazine courtesy of Brian Mustoe

Heather Kirkland Is Coach Of The Year

Congratulations to our wonderful Coach Heather Kirkland on being named joint Coach Of The Year by the Walking Football Association.

 

Heather initially came to a couple of Winchester sessions in the summer of 2022 to offer a little advice and encouragement to players (men and women) at our weekly Tuesday morning hourly meet.

However, players quickly realised that what she had to say was of enormous benefit.

She was invited to take on the role of voluntary coach, although she has no qualification badge, and the hour session was extended to 90 minutes. That enabled her to lead a 15 minute warm-up period, followed by 15 minutes of drills before we began playing games which she refereed.

Continuing into 2023 her expertise helped the club to apply successfully for grants from Winchester City Council and the Football Foundation to pay for new mobile goalposts and other equipment including pitch markers.

Heather also helped to arrange a club open day which included a match against a women's invitation team.

She also refereed some of our friendly matches with other clubs and was complimented by the opposition, before she successfully completed a WFA refereeing course in the summer.

Heather also fills a number of roles with X Saints women's walking football club in Southampton and although nominally only treasurer she also leads the coaching because of the strategy she has built up and the respect the players have for her.

For the past couple of years she has been south east regional player manager for the women's over 60s who won the regional tournament in 2022. She became manager because she was awaiting a foot operation but was eager to resume playing quickly.

In 2023 she stepped into the breach to become the England women's over 60s player manager, responsible for contacting players and organising trials, negotiating venues and dates and communicating with opponents all at her own expense. During the St George's Park world cup exhibition match she was also asked to referee.

She is always willing to listen to advice and equally keen to share and pass on her knowledge and expertise.

Walking football is forever in her head and is very much 24/7, although she does also work part-time. 

It has all happened since 10 years ago when she required to have a knee operation and spent almost three months in a wheel chair but still completed a Race for Life.

Winchester Walking Football’s recent successes on the pitch are principally down to the learning from Heather’s sessions.

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Annual Dinner

Twenty members attended the second annual dinner and first presentation night of Winchester Walking Football Club held at Greens Restaurant, the club's kit sponsors, on Friday 5 January 2024

Steve Nash was voted player of the year, Barry Poffley was top goal scorer, David Kirkby was best defender, Fiona Willsher received the outstanding contribution and coach's player of the year awards, while Jeff Lough, Ian Dowson and Steve Lawson shared the fair play award. The always running award went to Eugene Wills, closely followed by Steve Byrne.

Winchester Walking Football Club open day and exhibition match - Saturday 21 October 2023

 

Despite the appalling weather there was a good turnout of club members and newcomers to the recent Winchester Walking Football Club (WWFC) open day, at the University of Winchester Sports Stadium.

 

Following a brief introduction to walking football by Heather Kirkland who is the manager of the WFA South East Region Women’s Over 60s and newly appointed WFA England Women’s Over 60s team, there was the usual warm up followed by some skills coaching and practice before starting a series of short games. There was the usual mix of WWFC ladies and men, as well as newcomers, and sides were selected to reflect all abilities and ages.

 

This was good preparation for an exhibition match between Winchester and X Saints, a Southampton women’s team which includes some of the Southampton women players from the 70s / 80s FA cup winning side and two of England’s 1972 Legends .

 

The match was a close fought contest ending in a diplomatic and fair 1-1 draw. The scorers were Barry Poffley for Winchester and Sarah Worsley for X Saints.

 

As the match drew to a close, the Deputy Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith, arrived along with a break in the rain, to witness the women’s team score their equaliser.

 

The club was supported recently by grants from Winchester City Council and the Football Foundation enabling it to buy additional goalposts and other equipment which visitors were able to see.

 

A free prize draw was won by one of the newcomers who, having played much of the afternoon, was rewarded with a bottle of champagne.

 

The Deputy Mayor was keen to have his photograph taken alongside one of the England Legends, Morag Pearce (nee Kirkland), who has recently received her England cap, she is also captain of the England Over 60s Women’s Walking Football team.

 

The event was a success despite the deluge, and the club was glad to see some new faces showing an interest in the game.

 

Walking Football is open to men over 50 and women over 40 and is one of the fastest growing games in the UK.

 

Winchester Walking Football Club meets every Tuesday at 10am on the all-weather pitch, within the University of Winchester Sports Stadium off Milland Road, Winchester, SO23 0QA. Access is also available from the rear of Winchester Sport and Leisure Park.

 

For more information: www.winchesterwalkingfc.com

 

Please see below a press release from Winchester Walking Football Club, submitted by chairman Brian Mustoe, 27th September 2023..

 

Winchester Walking Football Club players are moving the goalposts literally in their weekly training sessions.

The club has acquired an extra pair of mobile goalposts and other equipment thanks to grants from Winchester City Council and the Football Foundation which will enable it to cater for additional members and stage more than one match simultaneously.

The club received £969 from the Foundation which has been put towards the cost of the new set of goalposts now housed at the Winchester University Sports Stadium off Milland Road, where the players meet every Tuesday morning at 10am for their weekly session.

The club also received £1000 from the Town Forum Small Grants scheme to help pay for the posts, which are similar to the set owned by the university, and other equipment including goalposts chain and lock, pitch markers, pitch cones, reversible bibs, footballs, large footballs bag, rechargeable pump, goalkeeper gloves, goalkeeper bottoms and wheeled kitbag.

Robert Sullivan, chief executive of the foundation said: "The Football Foundation is working closely with our partners - the Premier League, the FA and Government - to transform the quality of grassroots facilities in England by delivering projects like this across the country."

"Good quality playing facilities have a transformative impact on physical and mental health and play an important role in bringing people together and strengthen local communities."

Brian Mustoe, club chairman, said: "We are extremely grateful to both organisations for the grants. It will help us to continue to grow our membership. As many as 24 players have represented the club in matches in 2023 already, while several others have attended our weekly sessions and we are always ready to welcome newcomers aged over 50 of whatever gender or ability.”

"Walking football is one of the country's fastest growing sports and is great for both physical and mental health as it encourages women and men to exercise and meet people who otherwise might become isolated in their mature years."

“These grant awards to Winchester Walking Football Club are fantastic news for the local community and will help give more people access to walking football”.

For more information about the club visit the club website Winchester Walking Football Club.

 

 

Captions: (Goalposts) Players push one of the new set of goalposts

(Equipment) Some of the additional equipment bought with the grant

(Team goalposts) Winchester Walking Football Club members framed by one of the new set of goalposts

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