SYACL talks to City Knights ‘keeper and ace volunteer Gary Ward.
www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com editor Margaret Gregory caught up with Gary Ward, goalkeeper with City Knights Red 5-a-side team.
Gary is also a vital volunteer with Stocksbridge Park Steels FC who play in the Northern Premier League Division One South, Step 4 of the National League System; but more of that later.
As always, Margaret started by asking Gary a little about himself.
SYACL: “I’m Gary Ward and I’m now a goalkeeper, but I used to play outfield with Sheffield Wednesday and Derek Dooley Football Academy. I scored a few goals for both sides after originally getting into football through a mate.”
SYACL: What do you enjoy most about playing for City Knights?
“It’s like a family – that’s why I wanted to join the club, so they were an easy choice.”
SYACL: What’s your favourite part about playing in the SYACL?
“Just playing football allows you to leave all the stress behind when you’re playing as part of a team.”
“Manchester United; but I don’t have a favourite player, as it should be a TEAM game.”
SYACL: What would you say to someone who wanted to play in the SYACL but was maybe a little shy or nervous about joining a team?
“Give it a go as I am sure you will enjoy playing. That’s why I started again, the enjoyment.”
SYACL: How well do you think your team will do this season?
“If you finish above Bradford you will have had a good season!”
Football is clearly an important part of Gary’s life. We wanted to know a little more about his role at Stocksbridge, so SYACL asked Park Steels’ Chairman Graham Furness to tell us a little more. Gary is pictured left with fellow Steels supporter and Wisewood FC (Black) star Sam Leary.
“Non-League clubs couldn’t survive without their volunteers,” Graham insisted, “and Gary is certainly an asset to our club.”
Gary’s team, City Knights Red, sit just three points behind the leaders in the SYACL 5-a-side Premier Division. When the matches restart, you can see if he and his team mates can keep up their challenge for the title by checking back in at www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com.
In the meantime, we’d like to thank Gary and Graham for their time and wish them both well when their respective leagues restart.