Countdown to the Scottish Cup and Festival, Gretna 2008; Nine days till the Scottish Cup and Festival and the Anvils are coming to the gathering of walking football at Glasgow Green on the 23rd June.
Teams are coming from the length and breadth of the country to take part in this year’s Walking Football Scotland Scottish Cup and Festival.
Earlier this week we featured Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Fort William from the highlands, so now we turn to our most southernly side, Gretna 2008.
The club was founded after the demise of Gretna F.C. and are rightly proud of their work in the community, particularly with youngsters.
In 2013, Gretna 2008 became founder members of the Lowland League, having previously played in the East of Scotland Football League Premier Division.
Since then, the walking football team have become an important part of the club and sessions are held inside Raydale Park.
The team have already achieved success as winners of the 2017 Gala Fairydean Rovers tournament and last year were runners up in the Scottish Cup.
Club Chief Executive Stuart Rome said: “Walking football has really taken off in Gretna. Our first session attracted around 10 but now we regularly have 20-22 turning up which is fantastic considering the size of the town.
“A lot of the guys are former players and the games can get quite competitive. I know this because I have refereed a few games, but it’s not about competitions, it’s about enjoying yourself.
“They play inside the stadium at Raydale Park behind the goals where the first team play. We have been lucky as only a couple of sessions have been cancelled due to the weather since we started.
“We considered looking or indoor facilities but the consensus amongst the players was that we continue to play outside.
“Last year we won the first tournament we entered which was at Netherdale, the home of Gala Fairydean Rovers, beating Midlothian in the final.
“We then entered the Scottish Cup at Glasgow Green but a couple of our regular players couldn’t make it. We reached the final but lost to Midlothian.
“The guys are all looking forward to this year’s event. We returned to Netherdale last month to defend our trophy but lost in the semi-final to Hawick.
“The team will be travelling to Glasgow by minibus and will be wearing the first team colours of black and white.
“The walking football team are now a big part of our club and our annual presentation night includes their player of the year.
“Many of the players go to our games in the Lowland League and the walking football team actually sponsor a couple of the fixtures.
“Clubs at our level can’t rely on gate money to survive so we have to engage with the community and walking football has been an excellent initiative.
“I have also seen the improvement in fitness amongst the players which is great.”
Good luck and see you at Glasgow Green.