Great Wall Cup revisited by Internet ‘Orns

Watford IFC was honoured to be asked to represent Watford FC in ‘The Great Wall Cup 2023′, staged inside the Inflatable Dome at the Hornets’ London Colney training facility.

Eight teams competed, each representing a team that featured in the original ‘Great Wall Cup’ in China itself some 40 years ago.

Players were drawn largely from local Asian communities, some tidy players among them – not least of which some of those who, along with organiser and recent WIFC debutant Alan Lau, form part of the ESEA (East & South-East Asian) Hornets Supporters group.

The 9-a-side format came in the form of pitches running across the giant Inflatable Dome surface, allowing for two matches to be played simultaneously from each of the two groups.

Watford should have won the first game, with debutant Connan Brittain hitting a post from close-range against a China team that were pleased to hold the Hornets to a goalless draw.

Having got a measure of the surface, WIFC played some good football in game two of three, scoring two late goals through Adam Gallichan and debutant Charlie Hall to round off a 3-1 victory over Korea after Brittain had opened the scoring only for the opposition to level quickly.

A swerving first-minute shot found Saahil Sadiq’s net in the final group game versus Hubei, with Watford needing to avoid defeat to secure a semi-final place. 

The Hornets never really recovered their composure and conceded a second goal to the eventual tournament winners, therefore exiting at the group stage when seemingly well placed to progress.

It was a typically eclectic mix of seasoned WIFCers and new teenage recruits that represented the club in good style and spirit.

There was no question marks about the Golden Boys’ top performer; manager Richard Walker singling out defender Trev Plumb as the club’s ‘Player of the Tournament’.


Saahil Sadiq (GK), Trevor Plumb, Harry Walker, Connor Church, Adam Gallichan, Charlie Hall (debut), Connan Brittain (debut), Sean Kidby, Stuart Nicholls, Ben Kelly, Daniel Moss, Stuart Sperinck, Paul Labbett.


Watford 0-0 China

Watford 3-1 Korea (Brittain, Gallichan, Hall)

Watford 0-2 Hubei