Santa Ponsa Football Tournament – May 2019
Once again, the Senior Tigers walking football team participated in this annual event, to follow up the success enjoyed in 2018. The trip was undertaken with the supervision of the Tigers Trust, and in the name of Hull City. We were playing in the over 60’s walking football category, which is a six-a-side format, without goalkeepers.
This year we took a squad of ten players, as opposed to eight last year, and we made a commitment that every squad member would play an equal part in the games, rather than selection mostly favouring the stronger players. Of course, this would probably weaken us, and reduce our chances of success on the field, where we would be playing against opposition that were clearly there to win.
So, ten players with five wives/partners, and two coaches from Tigers Trust travelled in two groups, the majority going for a full week, with the coaches and two players attending the three days of the tournament.
We played five of our league matches on Friday, leaving Saturday free, and played the remaining two league games on Sunday morning. Sadly, we failed to win any of our matches, finishing bottom of our league and therefore not qualifying for the knock-out stages of the competition. However, on the plus side, this gave us all the opportunity to attend the finals afternoon and watch some excellent football, served up by the elite teams that had won their way through the various categories. The other nice thing is that we played all our matches on the show pitch, where the finals are played.
Now, you have to put our results, and the trip as a whole, into some kind of context, without writing the squad off as just a bunch of losers!! Whilst winning is far preferable to losing, it is not everything. The Senior Tigers Walking Football Group has always welcomed players of all abilities and, when playing against other teams, we have a wider responsibility from a reputational viewpoint, never more so than when we are mixing with teams and groups of people from many other countries, as we have done for the past two years in Mallorca.
So, while results were disappointing, the squad and supporters had an enjoyable time as we once again proudly flew the Hull City flag in the Spanish sun, meeting some old friends and making new ones!!
Walking Football Squad Member