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Footballers walk tall in Spanish festival

Posted onPosted on 12th May
Footballers walk tall in Spanish festival

Mansfield Senior Reds Walking Football Club, featured in a recent NewsJournal, have won a tournament in Spain.

The team, based at Mansfield Rugby Club, had just won the first Nottinghamshire FA Walking Football Festival for the over 50s when they travelled to Spain to compete in the Los Montesinos Challenge — a five-club, seven-a-side tournament.

They won five out of six matches, scoring nine goals and conceding four.

The Reds were based at Los Montesinos as guests of the local senior club and their supporters club, the Monte Mentals.
The tournament was played over three days.

The Mansfield squad was captain Gareth Pratt, Steve Birkin, Dave Eyley, Frank Fisher, Tony Gullett, Peter Mitchell, Paul Simpson, Silvano ‘Vano’ Taylor, Geoff West and Rick Yates.

The Reds lost their first match 2-1 to Playa Flamenca, while getting used to a larger seven-a-side pitch, the climate and different new rules, including keeping the ball under waist high. West scored the goal.

In the second game they defeated the hosts, Montesinos, 2-0. Tony Gullett turned in a fine effort for the first and Gareth Pratt adding a second from the edge of the box.

On the second day the Reds came from behind to beat Daya Vieja thanks to a Taylor pen and a West winner.

Another 2-1 win saw off Monte Mentals, with Gareth Pratt netting a brace.

On the third day, the Mansfield team beat Lo Crispin and Montesinos, both 1-0, to clinch the team of the week title and trophy.

West notched second half winners in both games.

The mayor of Los Montesinos and the local football club president hosted a dinner.

The Reds thanked their hosts, the ex-pat community and Vano Taylor and Tony Gullett for arranging the event.
Mansfield Reds were formed in October by three Nottingham Forest fans — Taylor, secretary Peter Mitchell and chairman Gullett.

The club, which has more than 30 members, is open to those over 55, giving them the chance to play and remain active.

They meet on Thursdays at Mansfield Rugby Club, from 11am to noon. Six-a-side matches are played on a five-a-side pitch and anyone is welcome to join them. Players need to wear trainers.