Southgate Finally Named England Manager

Well, the FA took their time making the announcement, but Gareth Southgate has now officially been announced as the new England manager.

It makes you wonder what has taken the FA so long with this? Maybe their attention has been on writing the new walking football rulebook which is due to be released at some point in 2017. Hopefully they get it right and the rules of walking football will be clarified so there is no more confusion.

Southgate to give everything

Anyway back to Southgate and after being announced by as the new manager of England he has promised to “give everything” to make sure the team is a success.

While I don’t doubt his commitment and determination, I do wonder about his qualifications and lack of experience for what is a very tough job.

World cup 2018

Will England qualify for the World Cup in 2018? Yes I think they will, mainly because their group shouldn’t be too difficult to win, even if England are not always on top form.

The main problem, as everybody in England knows, is how the team perform once they are in a major tournament, as over the last few tournaments they have been a disappointment

Yes, Southgate did take the England Under 21 team to a tournament, but ultimately, let’s face the facts here for a minute, because at the end of the day he really isn’t the right man for the job on paper.

DISAPPOINTING CV

As a club manager he was in charge of Middlesbrough for 3 seasons, getting them relegated from the Premiership to the Championship.

He then went on to the England Under 21 team, where he took them to the European Championships in 2015, where they didn’t manage to get out of their group.

Is this really the right qualifications for an England manager? Of course not, but many are saying that he is the only English choice for the role right now after Sam Allardyce got fired a few months ago.

That might be true, but does the manager really have to be English? I’m sure there are more experienced and qualified managers out there from other countries, and more importantly, managers with World Cup experience.

However, Southgate is the England manager now and we must all get behind him and the team and give them a chance.

Who knows, he might go on to become the best England manager of all time, lifting the World Cup in 2 years time with his captain Wayne Rooney. In football anything can happen.

Walking football England team

If it doesn’t work out for him then there are no doubt other roles waiting. For example, he could be appointed manager of an England walking football team, made up of ex professional international players.

That would certainly get some interest, and bring more attention to walking football around the country.

Over 800 Clubs Play Walking Football in the UK

It was 2011 when two teams decided to play walking football for the first time, and now 5 years later some are reporting there are 800 clubs in the UK.

This is great news and just goes to show that people are starting to become more serious about competing in walking football competitions.

over 40s play walking football

At first, the whole idea behind the game was to get over 40s football players out of the house and playing some casual games to help improve their fitness, and while this is still the main selling point of the game, there is no denying things are starting to become more organised.

We are now in a situation where Premier League clubs such as Manchester City and Spurs encourage people in their city to play walking football on a regular basis, and where the FA have decided to come up with an official rulebook so there is no confusion about what players can and can’t do.

Not only that, but some ex football players have even been talking about a professional walking football league, where matches would be televised and thousands of people would go and watch in a stadium.

Walking football world cup

Who knows, maybe it won’t be long until we are watching a walking football world cup with players that have played in world cups from years ago? This would surely draw in millions of viewers on the television and generate millions more in advertising and sponsorships.

For now though we have 800 clubs in the UK who are playing the game on a regular basis, while thousands more play casually for fun.

the rules of walking football

So what are some of the rules you might be wondering? Obviously the main one is no running, although that doesn’t mean players are moving around at a casual pace. Some of the games do get very competitive.

There is also no tackling, especially slide tackling, and no going into the goalkeepers defensive semi-circle (similar to five a side).

In fact, many leisure centres are now reporting that walking football has become more popular than five a side, which just goes to show you how popular it is right now, especially among players over 50.

reasons to play walking football

Why has the game become so popular? Well, for one, it is a great form of exercise, while at the same time allowing men and women the chance to play the game they enjoy. Many of the people that play used to compete in local and Sunday league teams and now they get the chance to keep on putting those boots on every week and getting on the pitch.

Another reason is the social aspect, with many players enjoying a drink with their team mates and rivals after the game. This is a great way to meet new people and make friends.

If you want to play walking football then you should have no problems finding a team in your local area, or you can even start your own team and then apply to join a league once you’ve played a few friendly matches.

Remember to have fun and enjoy yourself.

This isn’t in the Walking Football Rules!

While the walking football rules are still being written by the FA, there is one thing definitely not allowed…fighting.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened during a recent over 50s walking football match, when after only 2 minutes a huge brawl occurred between Canterbury walking football club and Herne Bay walking football club.

walking football ref joins in

It wasn’t just the players that got in on the action either, as some of the spectators claimed afterwards that they witnessed the ref get a few punches in.

This just isn’t on at all. Sure, we can all appreciate how competitive some of these games become, but when you have two walking football teams with players between the ages of 50 and 70 all deciding to have a punch up, and then the referee gets involved as well…I just don’t think stories like this do much for the image of the game.

Sunday football had the same problem, and still does to some extent, with players becoming far too aggressive, and even attacking referees and match officials in some instances.

Fortunately, the FA have done a lot over the last few years to get rid of these people, with harsher penalties for teams that regularly use violence at matches.

Maybe the same needs to be done in walking football? You wouldn’t think so, especially in an over 50 football league, but at the end of the day it might be something the FA need to address in the future either in their new walking football rules or simply by giving harsher penalties for teams that get involved in this type of thing.

No fighting in walking football

In my opinion, if you want to fight then get in a boxing ring or take up MMA…don’t start swinging punches on a football pitch.

Sure, a bit of aggressiveness is needed in a competitive match, and even a bit of pushing when things get heated is fine enough, but when players start punching other players then I don’t think they should be on the pitch.

So how did the brawl start you might be wondering? A spectator who wishes to remain anonymous commented that a crunching tackle by a Canterbury player was all it took for the fighting to begin…and this was after only 2 minutes of the match.

It just goes to show these players, aged between 50 and 70 don’t forget, were up for a fight from the beginning.

The official match report states the animosity between the 2 teams started even earlier (within the first 5 seconds) when there was a shoulder charge.

Against the walking football rules

Of course, the walking football rules as we understand it right now means no tackling and no shoulder charging, so you can definitely understand players getting annoyed when it happens, but to go from that into a full brawl within 2 minutes is just ridiculous and has no place in the game.

It’s not surprising to learn that the game did not continue after the fighting had stopped. Instead, the ref decided the best thing to do was abandon the match.

Good idea. Let’s just hope both of these teams get rid of any players that are just out for a punch up, and if anything like this happens again the FA should step in to take action.

Walking Football Very Popular in Great Yarmouth

All around the country walking football has proved to be a hit among people of all ages, and that is no different in Great Yarmouth.

Thanks to a new football centre that has recently opened at Flegg High School, everyone can now play walking football on a weekly basis, and so far it has been very popular….nearly as popular as normal five a side football, which just goes to show you the word is getting out about this slower paced version of the game.

Walking football for over 50’s

Every Thursday at 5pm you can find a few different games of walking football at Flegg High School in Great Yarmouth to suit your age group, and according to organisers of the games it is the over 50’s age group that has been packed out week after week.

So much so that there are plans to start having walking football at the centre for two nights a week starting from next year.

A representative of Flegg High School recently said, “walking football is a great way for those who find the fast pace of regular five-a-side- slightly tougher, be they slightly older people or those recovering from an injury.”

He’s right of course, and that is one of the main reasons why the country is now seeing so many players in the over 50 age bracket taking up the game.

Everyone has a chance to play

Gone are the days when you had to give up playing football once you could no longer keep up with the pace, as walking football now gives everybody a chance to keep play despite what their fitness level may be.

That is why Flegg High School are encouraging more people to go to their weekly walking football sessions. “There is always room for more people to come along,” they commented, “it’s proving popular with people in their early 50’s.”

At the moment, walking football games in Great Yarmouth typically last for about 45 minutes. If you are still unsure about whether or not it might be suitable for you, then why not go down and watch a game? It shouldn’t take you too long to get the hang of everything though, as walking football is basically the same as normal football, just with no running and no tackling.

Walking football tactics

While the fast paced nature of football is not there, many believe it makes the game more technical, with a greater emphasis on passing accuracy and tactics. This makes for some very interesting games that have spectators on the edge of their seats.

In many areas of the country walking football is already becoming more competitive, with leagues and cups now being formed for teams that want to get serious.

For the time being at Flegg High School in Great Yarmouth things are still friendly, and if you want to check out or play in a game of walking football then you are invited down on a Thursday at 5pm. The cost is £2.50 for a 45 minute game.

Saido Berahino Still Not Playing for West Brom

Fans of West Brom would normally be watching Saido Berahino score goals, but he hasn’t played since September due to the club saying he is unfit.

This has prompted West Brom manager Tony Pulis to put Berahino on a special training regime away from the rest of the team for the last couple of months, but despite this it now seems that he is still not match fit which has led to the club sending him back to a conditioning camp in France.

Walking football to get fit

It makes you wonder if walking football would be a good game for Saido Berahino right now? The pace of the game would no doubt suit his fitness levels, while at the same time he would be able to burn extra calories without breaking too much of a sweat.

That’s not to say that playing walking football is easy. Thousands of people play it every week around the UK, although most of these people fall into the over 50 age group. For the 23 year old Berahino, a game of walking football should be a walk in the park.

Is the main problem with Berahino that he just doesn’t want to be playing for West Brom? Only he can answer that of course, but there have certainly been a lot of things going on between himself and the club.

Twitter outburst

Last year, he publicly criticised the chairman on Twitter when they refused to sell him to Spurs…something he had to apologise for later on.

It’s a shame of course, because on his day Berahino is without a doubt one of the most exciting prospects in English football, scoring goals for fun and setting up his team mates for chances as well.

It was during this time in the 2014-15 season that West Brom were on a great winning streak and in the top half of the Premiership. If only they could get Berahino back on track then it could be the start of a winning run for West Brom once again.

Berahino back on form

Will this happen though? It’s difficult to say really. If Berahino does get back into shape and is reunited with his manager and team-mates, then it’s more than possible he could recreate his form of 2 seasons ago where he scored 20 goals in 45 appearances.

Let’s wait to find out what happens here. There is no doubt the Premiership is better off with players like Berahino when they are fully fit and on form, but if he doesn’t make it back into the West Brom first team there are plenty of walking football teams out there who would welcome him into their squad.

They Play Walking Football and Get Awarded for it

All they did was form a team and play walking football in the town of Halstead, and now they have an award for doing it.

That is exactly what happened to a team that was started by John Smith, who at the age of 70 decided that having extra exercise was important for both himself and his friends.

Now, sports awards run by Fusion Lifestyle have recognised the impact he and his team have on the community, especially when you consider that many people in the team are in the 60’s and 70’s age group.

Walking football for over 50’s is very popular right now of course, with cities, towns, and villages all around the country starting up leagues and cup competitions to cope with the demand.

walking football is exciting

If you are new to the idea of walking football then you might be thinking it doesn’t sound particularly interesting. People walking around and playing football…how can that be exciting? Actually, you’d be surprised how good the games are, not to mention the skills required to play the game well.

Make no mistake about it, thousands play walking football every week, and thousands more are just finding out about it.

Just like John Smith in Halstead and his team. After receiving the award John commented, “I’m really pleased for the team, and that we were commended for encouraging elderly people to improve their fitness and their well being”

That’s great John, and let’s hope you and your team continue playing walking football for many years to come.

Young people play walking football

Is walking football just for people over 50 though? Absolutely not, and in fact, many younger people are now taking up the sport. Go to any city and you will find an over 40 football league, and then other leagues that cater towards people in their 20’s and 30’s.

It doesn’t matter your age, you can play walking football.

You can just play a casual game with your friends and have an excuse to get out of the house for a few hours, or for people that want to take it a bit more seriously, find a league to join where you can play against other teams of a similar age and skill level.

The rules are very simple. No running of course, and no tackling. Fortunately, the FA are coming up with an official rulebook so we all know the rules and there is no debate.

There is even some talk of ex professional players starting to play walking football, and that some of those games might even be televised.

New Walking Football League for Essex

We all know that walking football is popular around the UK, but many places don’t yet have leagues in place for more competitive matches.

Well, that seems to be changing in Essex right now, as the FA recently announced plans to start a walking football league in the area as long as enough teams show their interest.

That should not be a problem in my opinion, mainly because I know that Essex have many people who play the game casually, with a lot of those players wanting to join teams and and get more competitive.

If you don’t know already, walking football is a relatively new variation of the small-sided football format, where as you might be able to guess from the name, players are only allowed to walk…no running allowed.

Everybody wants to play walking football

This has led to people of all ages taking up the game, with many people in the over 50 range who appreciate the fact they can enjoy a game of football without having to be really fit.

That’s not to say walking football is an easy game to play though. As any player will tell you, it’s a great form of exercise, and after a game your body will definitely know it has been in a match. This is why you should always start off with a few friendly matches before moving into more serious competition.

No matter if you play with a few friends or in a league, it seems that playing walking football once or twice a week gets you near the two and half hours of physical activity that is currently recommended by the NHS. Combine it with a trip down the shops and taking the dog for a walk every day and you are well on track for having great fitness, no matter what your age.

Walking football can be played both indoors and outdoors, and with typical matches taking around an hour, it’s the perfect way to continue playing the game you enjoy, while at the same time socialising with friends and maybe even winning a trophy.

Walking football in essex

So what about this new walking football league in Essex? At the moment all we know for sure is that regular players in the area have been notified and asked to express their interest. One idea is to start off with an over 50’s and over 60’s league, and then if successful, branch out into all age ranges, as well as skill levels within those ages.

If you live in Essex and want to take part in one of these new walking football leagues, simply go to EssexFA.com and complete the form with your contact details. Someone will get back to you.

Over 50’s to Play Walking Football in Evesham

Thousands of people now play walking football every single week, but it’s mainly in the cities and bigger towns.

This is changing though, as the word gets out about walking football. And over 50’s football in particular, in many smaller towns and villages.

Consider Evesham for example. A market town in Worcestershire that until recently never had any kind of walking football games at all.

In fact, most of the residents there had not even heard of the game. But that is about to change thanks to sessions now being run every Wednesday at the Wallace House Community Centre.

Walking football for over 50’s

These sessions are being marketed as 50’s football. In other words, you have to be over the age of 50 to play.

Walking football is perfect for people in this age range. Mainly because the pace of the game is a lot slower. And you don’t need to have the physical fitness of someone younger to enjoy playing.

Actually, many fitness experts are recommending that over 50’s play walking football as a way to get weekly exercise. Not only does this burn calories and improves fitness, but it’s also really enjoyable to play. Especially if you are a football fan or used to play for a team a few years ago.

The initial sessions in Evesham are going to be focusing on casual games to get people familiar with the rules, but if it becomes popular like it has just about everywhere, then expect the games to become more focused on leagues and cups. Don’t be surprised if there is a over 50 football league in Evesham very soon.

Play walking football

One thing I’ve noticed about walking football is that anytime it’s introduced to a new town or village it isn’t long until teams are setup. And then players want to become more competitive.

This is why the FA are working on a walking football rulebook right now. So that more important games can be played to a set of rules that everybody understands.

Some football experts are even suggesting that Premier League managers and players have been consulted in regards to the new rulebook. Let’s just hope they get it right so walking football can really start to become the game it should be…played by many people around the UK on a weekly basis.

If you’re interested in playing walking football in Evesham then sessions begin on November 9th from 1.45pm at the Wallace House Community Centre, and will be then held at the same time every Wednesday. The sessions are affordable, costing only £2, which means there is no excuse not to go along with as many friends as you can find.

Chelsea Among Favourites for Title

After a superb display beating Everton 5-0 at home, many experts are now saying that Chelsea are one of the favourites to win the Premiership.

Who can argue with that? It seems that new manager Antonio Conte has really put his enthusiasm into the team. This has led to a completely different style of football to what we witnessed from Chelsea last season.

Man of the Match Hazard

Put simply, it seems like many of the Chelsea stars are enjoying playing football again. The most notable standout being Eden Hazard, after his 2 goals and man of the match performance yesterday.

That puts Hazard at 7 goals this season, compared to 4 goals for the whole of last season. I think he is definitely enjoying playing under the new manager.

However, Hazard isn’t even top scorer. That award goes to striker Diego Costa who is scoring for fun so far this season with 9 goals in total.

Chelsea Played Walking Football

For much of their play it was almost like Chelsea were playing walking football. They moved around with ease and never seemed to be under pressure.

Many experts are saying this is mainly due to the new 3-4-3 system, which Conte perfected with Juventus in Italy. It is now using to great effect in the Premiership with Chelsea.

When you also consider that Chelsea are not in European competition this year it’s easy to see why so many people are saying they could be champions.

I agree with this, because teams like Manchester City and Arsenal all have extra games in Europe. But during this time the Chelsea players are getting extra rest. This will make a difference, especially towards the end of the season when those big games are coming up.

Liverpool in Great Form

Another team that are being talked about as potential champions are Liverpool. They are in great form so far this season under Jurgen Klopp. And of course, have the same advantage as Chelsea because they are not involved in European competition.

Does this mean teams like Manchester City, Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester United are already out of the title picture? Not at all, but many of those teams need to start winning games if they want to be seen as real title contenders.

As we all know, Manchester City had a great start to the season. And despite beating Barcelona in the Champions League last week, their Premiership form has been poor over the last month.

Pep Guardiola Focuses on Walking Football

Maybe manager Pep Guardiola has spent most of his time helping the FA come up with the new walking football rules instead of focusing on his team? He was seen watching a walking football game last week of course.

It”s still early in the season, maybe a bit too early to be saying who are going to win the Premiership, but if Chelsea keep up this form they are in with a great chance.

Manchester City Support Walking Football

They may have beaten Barcelona on Tuesday, but the next day Manchester City stars were out to support walking football.

First team player Ilkay Gundogan and youth player Tosin Adarabioyo were out in the Manchester community playing walking football, while manager Pep Guardiola watched from the sidelines.

I think it’s great that such high profile people in the world of football are supporting walking football, especially when you consider that it was only the previous night they had just got their best Champions League result ever after beating Barcelona.

Maybe other Premiership clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are going to be doing similar things soon? Hopefully they will, especially when you consider how popular walking football is right now.

Walking Football in Manchester

This was all part of Manchester City’s walking football scheme, which was held at the City Football Academy.

As well as people from the football club, there was also members of the public invited along, where games then took place in different age groups.

One of the best things about walking football is that you can play among people of your own age, as games and leagues are mostly divided into over 40’s, over 50’s, over 60’s and over 70’s. Not only does this keep the games more competitive, but it also gives players the chance to make friends.

At the moment, most people play for fun, but there are more competitive leagues and cups, and this has prompted the FA to write an official rulebook for the game.

How to Play Walking Football

In the meantime, if you fancy trying out walking football for yourself then you should be able to find a club in your local area.

However, don’t think playing the game is easy, as many people who start playing it for the first time will tell you…it can be demanding at first and if you haven’t had much activity or exercise in the last few years then make sure you start off slowly.

Warm up before you start a game with some light stretching and jogging, and then warm down with more stretching once the game has finished.

Also, get familiar with the basic rules, such as no tackling from behind or sliding tackles. This ensures you can start enjoying the game as soon as you start playing.

How did Manchester City player Ilkay Gundogan get on with walking football you might be wondering? Well, although he scored against Barcelona on Tuesday night in the Champions League, many people thought he found walking football very challenging at first, because obviously you can’t do any running.

Yes this does take some getting used to, even for professional players, although pretty quickly he was scoring goals just like he did against Barcelona.