Nigel has a Welsh weekend to remember

Wales Over 45s celebrate

Nigel Delaney with the cup“A weekend I will never forget,” was the understandable verdict of Goodwick United’s Nigel Delaney after he made his debut for the Wales Over 45s last weekend - and managed to play every minute of every match as he played at the heart of the defence and helped the team win an international trophy.

The Goodwick United assistant coach was selected for the squad to compete in the Home Nations Veterans’ tournament in Broughton, near Chester.

Joining Wales were England, Scotland, and a Chester Nomads side which had played host to the tournament and made sure that the teams had a superb welcome, on and off the pitch.

Superb organisation in every aspect

“Everything was organised in a very professional way, including the provision of a high-quality playing surface, the playing and singing of the national anthems, the post-match food and the evenings, where the players congregated and enjoyed each others’ company.

“I had  played a couple of trials at the House of Sport in Cardiff before being told I was in –and on the weekend I travelled up to meet some of my team-mates in Swansea before we met the rest of the 16-man squad in Cardiff before being driven up to Chester in a very smart coach.

“We stayed at The Court Hotel, where the food was amazing, and before long we received our Welsh ties, tee shirts and track suits – and told that we would be presented with our Welsh Caps at a presentation dinner towards the end of the season.”

Not the best start . . . but finished off in style!

Saturday saw each side play each other once, and Wales didn’t get off to the best of starts after heavy traffic caused them to arrive a little later than they anticipated – and lost 2-1 against a very well-organised Scottish who had experience aplenty.

But they beat The Nomads 4-0 and drew 1-1 with England - which was enough to qualify for Sunday’s final, which saw them take on the Scots after The Nomads caused a surprise by relegating England to fourth place with a good win.

The previous matches had been played over 20 minutes per half but the final was 30 minutes each way, with Nigel and Co playing far better in this return match and more than gaining revenge after a goal-less first half.

They established a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Neil Williams, Ricky John and Johnny Williams before Scotland grabbed a late consolation score.

Solid as a rock at centre half

Nigel, who currently plays for Swansea University Over 45s and also represented Wales over 40s last season, featured as centre back throughout and earned high praise for his skills at the back as the mainstay of a system which featured three centre halves at the back.

Neil finished as the tournament top scorer while Johnny was named the best player to complete a very successful competition which it is hoped will be repeated in Wales next year.

Wales Over 45s land back on home soil with the cup