A walking football team which has players from across the Farnham and Haslemere areas has been awarded the national team of the year 2022 title by the Walking Football Association (WFA).
The Godalming Walking Football Club over-60s squad had a very successful 2022, winning two leagues, two county cups and reaching the WFA national finals.
The squad’s players are: Glenn Mitchell, Jim Mellish, Tony Sparks, Phil Atkinson, Graham Fox, Bill Billingham, Dave Bearham, Nigel Rutter, Carl Barker and Dave Allen.
The squad finished champions of the Thames Valley League by a record margin and were also champions of a hard-fought Surrey County League.
They backed that up by winning the county cups for both of these leagues.
The squad finished 2022 in top spot after three rounds of the Middlesex County League, which has given them the opportunity to play against a number of new teams.
Having reached the finals of the WFA National Cup in 2019, the squad repeated that feat in 2022. The finals day at Lilleshall in September was an experience none of the squad will forget – they finished runners-up after losing 1-0 to Norwich in the grand final in a hard-fought match.
Four of the squad’s players – Barker, Bearham, Atkinson and Mitchell – were in the WFA South East squad that won the Inter Regional Championships in 2022.
Mellish, one of the founding members of the club, won his first WFA England cap in May and was named England player of the match when the WFA England over-70s team travelled to Bilbao and won the International Cup against Italy.
Mitchell won his first England cap as part of the WFA England over-65s team that played in Belfast against Northern Ireland and an England Parkinson’s team.
As a club Godalming are proactive in engaging with league officials and clubs to ensure the standards of the league are constantly reviewed and developed through a partnership approach.