Two weeks after the U's celebrated winning the Surrey FA Mens' 60+ walking football league, organiser Ian Clarke finally slowed down enough to talk to Amber Lane.
AMBER: So, Ian, congratulations on winning the league. Can you tell the supporters how long the U's walking football team has been going?
IAN: We began about three years ago, initially playing at the Sutton Tennis Academy. Steve King and Tony Henderson-Smith brought us to Gander Green Lane when the 3G pitch was put down and the club was asked by Surrey FA to take on the admin for walking football. We had about 18 players at the start but that has grown since we moved here and this year we had around 40 players, with at least 24 playing every week.
AMBER: How are events organised?
IAN: We meet up every week and play as two teams, usually 11 v 11 or 12 v 12, across the full width of the pitch, using 7-a-side goals. Every now and then there are tournaments to enter and this season saw the start of the Surrey over-60s league. There were only four clubs and we played each other on a round-robin basis, usually at Sutton or at Elmbridge, over twelve matches. We lost two games, drew two and won the rest.
AMBER: What are your plans for next season?
IAN: Well, we don't actually stop. There are daytime sessions every Wednesday and we are hoping to add additional sessions on Monday evenings. I expect the league to grow in number next season and hopefully we might eventually reach around a dozen clubs, so that perhaps we can play a traditional home and away league season.
AMBER: Thank you for your time.