Copa Del NWG 2012 Review

Absolutely fantastic afternoon at the New Windmill Ground, as Brakes fans got the opportunity to play on the main pitch against some of the former stars of Leamington FC. The match ended 6 (six!) a piece, setting the stage for a grand finale penalty shoot-out which saw all of the players step up to the mark.

At the u14 Lions v Coundon match in the morning both sets of players enjoyed the environments at the club. At the u13s v u14s, the same happened, with massive smiles and very very complimentary things said about the club setup and the community feel.

We’re very very pleased that the players took to the occasion, and the ex-players/vets played the fans into the ground.

Richard Cure won the man of the match award for his fantastic performance in goal, and will be awarded a new shirt once released. I know Richard Cure hero worshipped Rich Morris when he was younger (Cure, not Morris) so playing on the pitch AND with Mozza, he walked away with a massive grin on his face.

Hope there aren’t too many pains and stiff legs, or sunburn.

Feedback from participants:

Luke Brereton – “What started as a spontaneous decision by me to go for a kickabout with the Mars Play lot culminated in the opportunity for me to feel a great sense of pride playing at the New Windmill Ground. It was a great day out for all the community, a fun and friendly atmosphere and a great game if football. I loved every minute of it!”

Nick Doyle – “Thanks very much for Saturday. One of the best days of football I’ve ever had. Played 6 a side with Jason 6 weeks ago and broke a couple of ribs. That was the first time in 20 years I had played! It did show with my shots!!”

The obligatory team photos:

The action gets underway.

James Saunders running the line…

Dave Falp and Paul Edwards pressing forwards…

Jason Hemming (on the right in the above photo) said after the event: “It was great to spend 5 minutes playing on the hallowed turf, let alone 90 minutes!   It was played in the right spirit with lots of goals & lots of fun.  Can’t wait to do it again next year if possible & get a few more people down to watch.”

Silky smooth skills from Courier sports editor Paul Okey…

And Leamington FC Press Officer Paul Edwards…

Paul said afterwards: “I just found it great to get on the other side of the fence as it were, to experience in playing a proper game on a full size pitch for probably the first time in my life. I certainly appreciate how fit the players have to be now! It was great to play with the likes of Mozza, Jonny B, Baz Shearsby and Morts too, players we have supported from the terraces in the past, and they seemed to enjoy it as much as we did.”

One of the event organisers, Steve Wharton…

Leamington FC board member Kevin Watson shows us his skills…

As does fellow board member Graham Moody…

Nick Rogers takes a throw in…

Massive thanks to Debbie at the sweet shop & Kev on the bar, Idris and Nigel for getting the pitch as perfect as it possibly can be, Adrian and his food crew for putting on burgers & sausages, Keef on the PA which was very very amusing. JJ, Simesy & Liam did a brilliant job at officiating the game, and thanks to Guy, Kev and Graham Moody to championing this to the board.

Importantly, thanks to everyone for getting involved, supporting the event, the Trust and the club. We managed to get the day packed from every corner of the club’s involvement, from the Trust, Lions, Brakes, Just Play, Club directors, fans, ex players, vets, ex coaches, club volunteers, the newly formed youth team & young, not so young.

Here’s to Copa Del NWG 2013…

Photography by Nick Hallworth.

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