Our coach and creative football director Russell Small made his big debut for England at the weekend.
After a professional career which saw him play for Brentford and on the coaching staff at Spurs it was a fitting tribute to the super-fit 68 year old.
He made his international debut at Sheffield and started in two games for the England 065s against their Welsh counterparts, winning the coveted International Pennant as his cap.
Russ helped his team beat the Welsh 5-1 in the first match but lost the second game 2-1.
He said: ” I was astonished at the strictness of the refereeing. But that’s the way our game is played at this level. It was a brilliant atmosphere and a great bunch of lads in the squad and I was honoured to be selected.”
Russ is at the heart of everything we do at Hastings. He takes the warm ups at the sessions and everyone is amazed at his flexibility and strength which belies his age. He masterminded us to victory in our inaugural season and in our first ever tournament and getting an International accolade is brilliant for the club.
Of course, he’s not our only international player: Welshman Mike Pearce has been capped twice for his country although has sadly announced his retirement from the International game to concentrate on his defensive position in the Hornets and walking his dog.
Club Chairman Phil Aspinall commented: ” Locally, only us and Eastbourne have managed to get players to win International caps. “We are very proud of Coach Russ and we wish him luck in the future.”
The future will be the upcoming Walking Football Euros this summer and Russ is hoping his personal mascot – Freddie the Fox- will bring him more caps and a goal or two.
Meanwhile, talking of Internationals, one of our popular players Legendary Rog is currently on a world tour and bumped into Lionel Messi in a shop in South America. Rog gave him a few tips on how to turn with the ball but Mr Messi didn’t respond. Maybe Rog is not cut out for this? We miss you buddy. Come back soon.