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Soccer for seniors

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Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

(WFLX) - They call themselves old guys, but these 50 and 60 year olds are anything but when they're on the field.

"People look at me, and, they say, you're still playing soccer?!" said Terry Flanagan. He and his teammates just faced a younger team -- their players are only in their 40s.

"We're learning a little bit more [of what] we need to take care of our bodies," said one of Flanagan's teammates.

No, their biggest competitor is the threat of injury. "When we get older, we lose the ability for our muscles to stretch as much," explained Forrest Pecha, a certified athletic trainer. "We lose some water in the muscles, in the cartilage and the ligaments, and we just get stiffer."

This can lead to pulled muscles or sprains, so on and off the field, the players stretch a lot and work hard to stay fit and remain strong.

And, they play smarter. "I'm more tactical, technical player, and I avoid physical contact," said Imre Pataki.

The older guys won the game 5 to 1, but most importantly, they remained injury free and are ready to compete another day. "I'd like to play until they put me in a wheelchair, and I can't get out on the field anymore," laughed Larry Goodrich.

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