For the second year, the Grimsby Ancient Mariners went over to Holland to compete in the 2018 Amelio City Cup meeting up with 30 other European Walking Football Clubs. Teams from Holland, Belgium, Germany together with England and for the first time a team from Scotland.
Our two teams, the Odds and Evens (via their shirt numbers) had a somewhat mixed tournament.
The first group of games saw the Evens, drawing against Feyenord and Wolfsburg but recorded their first defeat against a very strong KVVE Massemen from Belgium, so after day one – 2 points.
Little to add from our GAM Odds who tried very successfully to provide their three opponents, Utrecht, Iserjohn and OHL Old Stars (Bel), which they did without scoring a goal.
Day two, a full day’s football at the magnificent Hercules Stadium, saw our Evens side beating Ghent, Wiltshire and Rhoda to cement their place in their knockout round beating Wolksburg again before losing their final match against Vitebsk 63.
Over their eight matches the Evens returned a creditable won 4, drew 2 and lost two to secure 18th place, better than last year, but our Odds struggled just a little but managed to win the play off between 31st and 32nd with Ken Thompson saving them receiving the wooden spoon.
Although it is not about winning prizes or accolades, a special mention should go to Ken Thompson, who took on the responsibility of getting us to Holland, Dean Capes who secured the playing strip of orange and black – Holland’s total football to our total Walking football, top goal scorer with 6 Ian McKinnon (Evens), Dave Warrender with 4, also from Evens, Gary Kershaw (2), Ken Thompson and a special mention to Dave Arnold with 1 from the Odds.
A final mention to Melvyn Petterson who was injured getting his dinner on day one. How is he going to explain getting injured at a football tournament by slipping in the dining room with a plate of food but, at least he got some early game time in and to Dave Elshaw, who went along for the beer, but filled in to make up the Evens squad up to strength.
The entire squad of 16 players represented not just our club but the entire area of North East Lincolnshire and especially the towns of Grimsby and Cleethorpes can be really proud, not only of them but the entire group of the Grimsby Ancient Mariners whose reputation is growing with some excellent of the European clubs wanting to come over and play here in Grimsby, bring them on!
Pictured in their kit: The Grimsby Ancient Mariners (Evens) side that went over to Holland to play in the Amelio City Cup. (Left to right) Rob Andrew, Dave Warrender, Al Nilsen, Pete Cribb, (front) Dave Elshaw, Wayne Capes, Rolly Thompson and Ian McKinnon proudly showing off their medals.