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2021 a very good year on the pitch ...

As the year draws to a close it is a good time to reflect on the past nine months and what the future might hold for Norwich Soca Seniors.

Following the national lockdown in December 2021 we resumed our sessions at the FDC towards the end of March and, with the unexpected bonus of some glorious springtime weather, we saw a healthy turnout that continued to rise as the weeks went by. To date there has been in excess of more than a hundred different faces through the doors with 84 of them, at the last count, becoming members. The rise in numbers has resulted in an average attendance of almost 40 players per session. That type of figure can make life very difficult in trying to organise games on both the smaller and bigger pitches but we do our best to try and keep everybody happy. A new committee was elected at the AGM in September and it’s encouraging to know that our efforts have been recognised and applauded by rival clubs and organisations that get what we are trying to achieve.

With the imposed Covid restrictions walking football competitions have been few and far between but we have achieved well in what there has been. We proved successful in the WFA national tournaments – both the over 65’s and over 70’s reached the finals in Barnsley and Watford respectively with the latter triumphing as eventual winners of their group. Since then six of the over 70’s have been selected in the IWFF England squad and one in the over 60’s.

Each member of our club is respected equally and the selected teams for our twice weekly sessions amalgamate players of all ages and ability. We share the FDC facilities with football academies and it’s good to see some of the youngsters taking an interest in what we do. They recognise the talent of some of the more accomplished amongst us. There may have been the initial snigger at the collective sight of us but there is now respect. Maybe in us, like Scrooge’s Ghost of Christmas future, they see themselves in forty or fifty year’s time.

Norwich Soca Seniors maintains a positive attitude towards the future. Our growth in numbers has placed us firmly among the biggest walking football clubs in the country and we hope to sustain our success in tournaments, both here in the UK and Europe that hopefully will be resurrected in 2022. Meanwhile to each and every one of you, from those who have maintained a level of health and fitness throughout 2021 to those who have suffered illness and injury – I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Brian Russell


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