EFL WALKING FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT – RUNNERS UP (QUALIFIED FOR NATIONAL FINALS) 19/4/17
Birmingham’s over 50’s travelled to Derby Arena to play in the English Football League Trust competition invited by Kidderminster Harriers as winners of their Christmas tournament, the major National tournament with over 70 entrants from League sides has a prize of playing in the final at Bodymoor Heath in June.
Drawn in a really tough group with Notts County, Burton Albion , Derby County amongst others The Blues knew they would have a difficult task to qualify for the final, hosts Derby were their first opponents and after going 1-0 down to a very dubious penalty a late goal from a well worked corner saw Dave Wright smash his drive into the roof of the net for a 1-1 draw, a 3-0 victory over Walsall with goals from Wright, Andy Struthers and Mike Ternent and a 1-0 victory over Port Vale meant at the halfway stage the Brummies led the group. Their fine form continued as a 0-0 draw against Notts County and two 1-0 victories against Burton and Shrewsbury with goals from Wright and a piledriver free kick from Struthers saw them top the group and qualify for the semi finals against Coventry City. Birmingham’s defence had stood firm with Rob Castle in goal making his tournament debut keeping five clean sheets with Dave Castle, Shay Flaherty and Simon Dyer negating the opposition forwards.
Coventry were comfortably beaten with Wright and Dyer on target and excellent game management saw them qualify for the National final, the virtually meaningless final with Notts County was played out with great spirit as both teams had already achieved qualification with County running out 2-1 winners.
After the game skipper Dave Castle said “Our general attitude and commitment today was exceptional , we had some guys that hadn’t played a lot of tournament football and I thought everyone fitted in well ,Rob a had a steady tournament in goal and I thought Mike T gave us so many options, his strength and awareness was key. We sometimes have to pinch ourselves here as to what we are achieving, we were missing several key players today but it just shows how much strength in depth we have at the club, and recently with the 60’s and 65’s doing so well too its really exciting times for us at the moment. Could we dream of Peoples Cup, EFL Trophy and National Championship Treble?”