The FA and Spurs team up to raise disability football awareness.
By Matt Phillips
The England Cerebral Palsy squad met up with Steven Pienaar and Heurelho Gomes last week as The FA and Tottenham Hotspur launched a brand new football initiative which aims to get more disability players involved in the England set-up.
The FA and Spurs have joined forces on the awareness campaign, England Ready, with the Premier League club opening the doors to their training facility, Spurs Lodge, for an England CP football session that included elite coaching plus top tips from Pienaar and Gomes.
The FA’s National Manager for Disability Football, Jeff Davis, explained more about England Ready: “We support a number of Disability Football squads at The FA such as Cerebral Palsy, Blind, Partially-Sighted and Deaf Women and today is all about raising awareness of those teams and that there is an actual opportunity for people to get involved and play.”
Brazilian international Gomes teamed up with England CP keepers Leon Taylor and Jordan Raynes for a goalkeeping masterclass at Spurs Lodge while South Africa star Pienaar ran through a penalty shoot-out drill with the rest of the CP squad.
“Spurs have been superb in providing a great facility and professional coaches which all creates an environment to improve our players,” added Davis.
“It helps raise both their confidence and self-esteem and makes them feel like footballers alongside Steven Pienaar and Heurelho Gomes.”
England CP squad member, Martin Sinclair, revealed: “It feels brilliant to be rubbing shoulders with Steven Pienaar. He’s a magnificent player and Gomes is a top notch keeper so it’s been a brilliant day for everyone involved with the England CP team.”
There are a big couple of years in store for the England CP squad with the World Championships this summer and the Paralympics in 2012 and the team’s Head Coach, Lyndon Lynch, commented: “The FA does wonders in my book for supporting disability football and development and regional squads are springing up all over the country so that really helps with identifying future talent and moving towards a medal position.
“A number of players from the England CP team will be looking to be in our GB squad next year and our aim is to be on that podium in 2012.”If you want more details about getting involved with England Ready and The FA’s talent identification process around international disability squads then contact your local County FA for more information.
Watch a video of the session now by clicking the option on the right of the screen.