Filed: Wednesday, 25th July 2012
By: Staff Writer
The West Ham iFC Veterans team have been voted 'Team Of The Tournament' at the iFA WorldNet 2012 Football Tournament.
The tournament is contested by supporters' teams from the UK and Europe each year and this is the first time that Hammers supporters have entered a team into the 'Big Tam Bowl' veterans' competition.
The team had never played together as veterans before and contained a number of players coming out of retirement especially for the occasion, including 'keeper Trevor Garrard who had flown back from Thailand to play in the tournament.
The non-regular nature of the side showed in the opening match as the Ageing Irons went down 4-0 to a well-organised Airdrie. Manager Gary Davidson at least had the consolation of the miniature bottle of Scotch presented to him by Airdrie after the match.
The vets saved their best of the tournament for the second match which resulted in a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Leeds Lards – who had the advantage of playing on home turf. Both teams had their chances before Nathan Stafford headed a late winner.
Nathan – the team’s under-age representative - was also on target in the next match, a friendly against Grimsby Town which finished 1-1.
The final group match saw the veterans go down 3-0 to the Watford Gitwizards who were chasing a large win to improve their goal difference in an effort to secure a more favourable draw for Sunday’s knockout stages.
After a quiet Saturday night in with a mug of cocoa (we understand that this may not actually be true – Ed) the Hammervets reconvened at the ungodly hour of 9am on Sunday morning for the knockout stages but were no match for the much younger legs of Everton, the Toffeemen running in five without reply. Everton eventually went on to lose to AFC Halifax Town in the final.
However, the Vets’ efforts did not go unrewarded. The sporting manner in which the olduns conducted themselves resulted in the team picking up the 'Team Of The Tournament' award.
The award is voted for by the competing teams and is awarded to the team that is deemed to have "epitomised the spirit of Internet Football on and off the pitch and played in a fair and sporting manner". A fitting tribute to Manager Davidson’s organisation of the team over what was a fine weekend.
West Ham iFC Veterans: Back Row l-r: Spencer Keyworth, Dan Hart, Chris North, Gary Davidson (Manager/Captain), Trevor Garrard, Kam Sadra, Colin 'Wanstead' Wells, Dan Grimsey, Ash 'Thommo' Garrard. Front Row: Graeme Stafford, Jim Soave, Martyn Drury, Darren 'Peppy' Beal, Nathan Stafford, Gordon “Gnome” Thrower.
Hammers land silverware [22nd Apr 2012]
One step from glory [19th Apr 2012]
by Kam Sadra
06:29PM 27th Jul 2012
''Yes fine effort by the over 45s, against the over 34s.
Yes our best efforts coming during the middle of the day, too early starts when the body and mind are still waking up and no breakfast, not really ideal preparation for anything energetic.
By lunchtime being feed and alert resulted in a better effort, and the match against Grimsby, just before Watford was a bridge too far, my body is still aching.''
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