THE CLEARWELL CUP – BRIGHTON – Saturday July 6th 2019
Eatstbourne 2 Canterbury City 0
Canterbury City 1 Brighton 0 (Goalscorer – Lance)
Worthing 1 Canterbury City 0
Canterbury City 0 Newhaven A 1
Newhaven B 1 Canterbury City 0
Canterbury City 1 Brighton 0 (Goalscorer – Lance)
This was our second appearance in this tournament which, yet again, was very well
organised with a format that enabled each team to play the same number of games. Unfortunately,
we were unable to repeat our efforts of our previous appearance in the Clearwell
Cup, when we came second overall, but we were never outclassed. Our perennial problem
of rarely playing together as a team showed and we didn’t do ourselves justice. The
matches were very short which meant the team which took the lead tended to consolidate
and hold on to that lead rather than looking for more goals. Lessons to be learned! The
refereeing was a little inconsistent with differing views of what is running!
The scoreline may seem very high but we played three periods of 25 minutes! This
being a friendly both teams had unlimited squads and made numerous substitutions. Overall,
the Dover squad is stronger than ours, but we acquitted ourselves well in one session,
drawing 3-3, whilst losing the others 0-5 and 3-5. I do not have a record of the
goalscorers other than that Lance scored five! The match was well refereed by Steve
Rich from Folkestone and he did his best to curtail the running – a constant problem!
Canterbury City 1 Shrewsbury 59ers 0 (Goalscorer – Lance)
Canterbury City 0 Shrewsbury 99ers 2
Canterbury City 2 Roz Chas Le Trevoux 0 (Scorers Graham and Steve)
Canterbury City 0 Manchester City 3
Canterbury City 1 Shrewsbury 59ers 1 (Goalscorer – Graham) Penalty Shoot out 2-1
(Scorers Barry and Graham)
Our match record was won three, lost four, but we were not happy with that. We were
all agreed that standards have improved since our first participation and, although,
on paper we fielded arguably our strongest squad in three visits, some of our opponents
were simply too good. When we hear about their playing and training facilities,
numbers of players, regular sessions and coaching, we cannot hope to match that. I
could elaborate on numerous aspects but running and tackling from behind, and the
side, caused us to be penalised a lot in our first few matches. The referees were
very good, consistent but strict! There was also the three-touch rule which we don’t
play and are not used to, so we have problems adapting to that. Other teams are
coached to play to the tournament rules some weeks in advance!
However, it’s not all about the football and, socially, we had a great time! As
always, the wives supported us brilliantly and gave us every encouragement.
There is also a great rapport amongst the teams – there were 16 in the 50+ competition
and 20 in the 60+ so, in all, over 300 players from England, Scotland, Portugal,
France and even Canada!
Most of the tournaments attended by the Club have been 50 plus, but the invitation
to play, on one Sunday in November, a 60 plus round robin against 6 other teams was
too good to resist for a number of us. So Jan, Dave, Ian, John another Dave, Simon
and Cedric went to Bay Point to have a go. It was gratifying to see that the players
were drawn from Monday and Thursday night football as well as Friday.
Less pleasing was the knowledge that not only had we never played as a team before,
but some of the players had rarely played with some of the other players at all.
However, it was a great opportunity to get to know each other better. In addition
we were only able to rustle up 7 players, therefore less rolling subs and more playing
time for everyone. As we were the first team to sit out a game it meant that there
was over an hour of almost continuous playing time for each player.
Lance, a mere youngster in his early 50s, came along to manage us. Not a negative
word passed his lips the whole morning despite us not actually achieving a victory.
His enthusiam at least made us motivated in mind even if the body couldn't always
follow. He set us up not to concede many goals and to be fair, we didn't, either
losing narrowly or on occasion managing a draw. This was despite Ian sustaining an
injury, which meant even less rest time for the rest of us.
Scoring was a problem with our system although Ian, Cedric, Simon and Dave did all
hit the back of the net. After all, isn't that what many of us play for, to still
hit the back of the net again, even in our 60s! What was clear was that several of
the other teams had played regularly together and often had a "major player" that
was obviously better than the others that they could play around. A major difficulty
was playing with a smaller squad than the 8 allowed, and we did tire towards the
However, after all is said it was a great run, sorry walk out for those of us who
don't play in tournaments so often. The changing room huts and the smell of linament
took us all back 40 years. The refereeing was generally quite good and any contact
at all from behind was penalised. Running, well that's another story.