VIDEO: Albion host South East walking football tournament

THE concept of not being able to run while playing football is a strange one for many but that was the case on the community pitch at Brighton & Hove Albion’s training ground today.

The American Express Elite Performance Centre played host to the first over-50 men’s walking football tournament in the south east.

Albion in the Community Walking Football tournament at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre

Albion in the Community Walking Football tournament at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre

In total five teams competed in the competition with Brighton, Portsmouth, AFC Wimbledon, Charlton and Crystal Palace all involved.

Organiser Chris Day was pleased with how the event went and said: “We have been running this type of football in the area for around four months now and it has proved to be very popular.

“This event is just about bringing all of the teams from across the south east together to compete against other teams.

“It’s been really good and is proving to be really popular with how this tournament has gone.”

The event was also used as the launch of Albion in the Community’s bid to bring the sport to a number of locations across Sussex.

AITC will now be running new sessions in Brighton, Arun, Mid-Sussex, Adur and Worthing.

Paul Brackley, who runs the West Sussex sessions, has been pleased with the participation since it began in the area.

He said: “It has really gone from strength to strength since we started in the area.

“At the start we had just five players participating in our Worthing sessions but now we have around 30 and ten who can’t play but come to watch.

“It’s really good to see the older guys out playing and enjoying their football once again.”

Brighton boss Chris Hughton took part in a coaches v Albion match, while first-team striker Sam Baldock watched on from the sideline.

To find out more about Albion’s Walking Football programme, and the nearest session to you, contact; Paul Brackley on 07880 195515 or paul.brackley@albioninthecommunity.org.uk

For West Sussex sessions, contact Chris Nash on 07468 726204 or chris.day@albioninthecommunityorg.uk.

Click on the video above to watch action and interviews from the tournament.