When Emmanuel Church, Bramcote decided to run a football tournament at Powerleague, it seemed tailormade for the Gammies. However, when it was stripped back to 4 aside, it looked a little trickier. Having to ask players to miss games was frustrating.

How can you drop any of these guys?

Our first game was against Pete and Mo – a tough ask but one we were set to win 1-0 until the last few seconds, when they broke through our defence to equalise. Devastating start.

Second match featured a team with two thirteen year olds but we couldn’t show mercy. And now, with the head height rule not in place, Matt’s epic cricket throw could come in handy. We won 8-0, at least five of them directly from launches up field.

A win in our final game would secure group winners spot and, despite an inspired performance from Dave RW in goal, we got a 2-0 win and were in the semi-finals.

Our opponents, Ian’s team, were experienced 5 asiders and they were all about possession. They’d seen how Rick and I worked together for destructive purposes and figured that so long as they had the ball they couldn’t lose. So they kept it. And kept it. It was all about playing for penalties. It would have worked too, until in the dying seconds, Rick won possession and slotted it to me. I cut inside and squeezed it under the keeper. Finalists!

Reaching the final would have meant nothing without victory and Ed’s team of slightly older (and bigger!) statesmen awaited us. In the opening seconds, Ed muscled Mike off the ball and slipped it past Matt to open the scoring. We looked in trouble but then Rick got going, smashing a quickfire hat-trick to inspire us to a 4-1 win and clinch the Gammies first piece of silverware.

It also secured him a top scorer award for the tournament. I guess I’ll let him keep that one!

Victors!

Victors!

A close second to the highlight of lifting the trophy was Jonah, a seven year old, booting the ball at Matt! What a shot!

I do love this photo

I do love this photo – seven years old Matt, SEVEN!

The Gammies were trophy winners and a promising future seemed to lie ahead.