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 Gibraltar’s Walking Football team were crowned champions in an international tournament in Mijas last weekend, lifting the cup after a brilliant undefeated run. Teams from Malaga, Calahonda, Benhavis, Lincoln and Bristol took part in a round robin league table tournament format – with each team playing five twenty-minute-long matches.

 

Gibraltar’s first game was against Bristol Athletic, which they won emphatically 4-2. Albert Cumbo and Mario Prescott each picked up a goal, alongside a Gilbert Licudi brace. They followed this up with a 2-0 win against Benhavis, Gilbert Licudi grabbing his third goal of the tournament before Mohammed Moudden scored Gibraltar’s second.

 

In their third game, Gibraltar decimated Malaga in a 4-0 thumping. Albert Cumbo, Andy Sene, Mario Prescott and that man Gilbert Licudi all scoring goals – taking their unbeaten streak to three games. In the tournament’s penultimate game, they played Real Calahonda – who themselves had only lost one match. Gibraltar continued their dominant form, convincingly winning 3-0 – Brian Mañasco, Mohammed Moudden and Andy Sene all getting on the scoresheet in that one.

 

Only Lincoln stood in-between Gibraltar and a perfect 5-0 record in Mijas, and Douglas Perez was given the captain’s armband for this final match of the tournament – an honour he said he would ‘never forget’. After a shaky start by Gibraltar, conceding an early penalty which thankfully was missed, Andy Sene’s goal secured a 1-0 victory, ensuring Gibraltar’s perfect 15-point tournament from their five games played – declaring them champions.

 

Dennis Beltran and Brian Mañasco’s side paid special credit to physio Gabe Benatar who ‘worked his magic’ all tournament long, as well as member Johnny Fernandez for providing the players with refreshments during their matches.

 

Gibraltar’s Walking Football team have several international tournaments on the upcoming agenda, with games scheduled in Chesterfield, Norwich and Nyon in Switzerland – the latter of which being a Pilot Tournament organised by UEFA.

 

Gibraltar are one of several countries involved in forming a working group to study to assess the creation of a ‘Walking Football Toolkit’. They will be involved in this venture alongside Sweden, Portugal, England where the goal is to set a finite set of rules for Walking Football.