HARDY members of the Tullibody Walking Football team travelled to Portugal recently to participate in the Algarve Cup.

The competition, in its fifth year and held in Vilamoura in the south of Portugal, was made up of 16 over 50s teams and 20 over 60s teams from five different countries.

Tullibody took four teams in total, with one representing the over 50s and three in the over 60s category.

The over 50s team finished sixth overall and as runners-up in the plate section.

Of the three over 60s teams, the Blues finished in seventh and the Whites finished 10th. The Reds finished in ninth place and they also brought home the trophy from the Bowl section.

Davy Reynolds, of Sauchie Juniors Academy, was one of four coaches who travelled with the group.

He told the Advertiser: "I've been involved with Tullibody Community Football Club since it was founded in 2007.

"I coached a number of football teams in the area and when the council started the walking football around 2014 I was asked to take the group.

"Numbers were up and down to begin with: some weeks there would be 10 or more guys and other weeks there would just be three or four."

After a few years, the first trip to Portugal was planned and the team have been competing ever since, taking a bigger group every time with over 25 members travelling this time.

The oldest player in the team is 74; however, training sessions are open and are regularly attended by the teenagers who play for Sauchie Juniors.

One of the biggest benefits of participating is the fitness aspect which Davy says is a huge benefit to the players.

The coach added: "Two of our players used to rely on walking sticks to get around. Thanks to the football they're able to walk on their own."

Fitness is not the sole benefit of joining the team and Davy knows how important the comradery is for the men.

"We don't just play football," he said. "We have a bite to eat after the sessions, tea, coffee and a bit of banter.

"The guys miss the interaction they used to get at work now they're retired.

"Some guys will admit they were more into rugby than football, but come along for the social side."

The walking football side is always looking for players, with those of all abilities welcome to join.

Sessions take place every Tuesday and Friday mornings from 10-11am at the Alloa Athletic FC ground and cost £3.