Derby County Community Trust took their walking football team to Portugal last week to take part in the Algarve Walking Football Cup. Formed of participants from the Forever Active and Active Supporters programmes, the team beat off competition to claim 3rd place out of 20 teams in the tournament.
Players Les Dickinson, Peter Horne, Pat Piggott, Michael Williams, Darren Worthington, Frank Woodward, Gary Chadwick and Stuart Asquith got off to a strong start in the group stages, with a 2-0 win over Tweedvale starting proceedings, followed by back-to-back draws and finishing with another win over Stamerton Stalkers. Their undefeated streak earned them second place in the group, only missing out on first place by goal difference.
The team continued to record wins the following day, winning on penalties 2-0 and then 3-2 in their next two matches to make their way to the semi-finals. Their only defeat in the cup came in the semi-finals, where they lost by the narrowest of margins in a 1-0 defeat.
Spirits still high after all-round fantastic performances, the team bounced back to win the match for 3rd place, again producing some fantastic spot kicks to steal the victory 3-2 on penalties.
DCCT staff members who accompanied the team were hugely impressed with the team’s performance. Luke Wilkinson, Active Supporters Team Leader, said, “the last 4 days has shown how far the Trust has come with our walking football provision and a massive thank you to Lee Fearnley who started this 18 months ago.
“The lads were excellent and were a credit the Trust and the football club. Our only aim was to enjoy the experience, but to come 3rd just topped the whole trip off.”