Ex-footballer hopes inspired 6-a-side initiative comes to fruition

Martin Pickering of Sutton during his playing days

Martin Pickering was inspired to launch a Super Vets initiative in Ely following the work of Cambridge United FC's Community Trust. - Credit: Supplied/Martin Pickering

A former footballer is hoping his new idea will offer those who may have hung up their boots to rekindle the footballing fun they once had. 

Martin Pickering has come up with running an Ely Super Vets football initiative after speaking to Cambridge United FC's Community Trust earlier this year. 

“I’m connected to the club’s Community Trust on social media and saw these super vets sessions advertised,” he said. 

“I saw it and thought it would be something interesting to try in Ely instead of people having to travel to Cambridge.” 

After being inspired by what he saw, Martin wants to provide an initiative for players in the form of six-a-side football at the Ely Outdoor Sports Association’s (EOSA) all-weather pitch. 

Martin, of Sutton, has used EOSA’s facilities on Downham Road before and felt this was perhaps the best location to launch his idea. 

Martin Pickering of Sutton to launch Super Vets in Ely

Martin Pickering hopes his Super Vets sessions can keep people happy, active and enjoying their football again. - Credit: Martin Pickering

“I’ve used EOSA for different things and thought that was probably the most suitable location in terms of availability and timings,” said Martin. 

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“Super Vets crosses between vets which is around 35+ and walking football, around 55+.     

“For those who are older but love playing, I thought it was an opportunity to keep playing for the fun of it.” 

Martin is hoping to at least attract “20 or so people” to sign on as time moves on in a bid to make the initiative worthwhile. 

The Cottenham United Under 17 Girls assistant coach used to play veterans’ football and is also a keen runner. 

But through what the Us are doing, Martin wants to give people of Ely and surrounding areas an activity that they can benefit from both physically and socially. 

“Cambridge United already do great things in bringing people together and helping improve people’s physical and mental health,” he added. 

“This new weekly session is open to anyone over 45 who loves playing football, but perhaps without the high pace and physicality of their younger days. 

“These sessions could be a case of keeping fit, healthy and keeping active, or just enjoying football, playing the game they love.  

“But it’s also playing a friendly environment and meeting new people.” 

Sessions will take place from Sunday, January 9 between 7-8pm and will cost £3 per session. 

For more details, email Martin at: elysupervets@yahoo.com or visit the Ely Super Vets Facebook page