Last week St. George’s Park played host to the England Blind Camp, which saw England’s Blind team training on the Tony Larkin Pitch - a bespoke pitch for blind football and one of only two that exist in the UK, utilising all the world-beating facilities including the Hydro Pool, and staying on our famous grounds at the Hilton Hotel.
Spanning a range of ages, the England Blind team has an array of incredible talents who were taking part in the camp at St. George’s Park. A number of younger new players have started to break through into the team, some of which have only visited the grounds a handful of times, whilst more experienced pros in the team such as Roy Turnham and Owen Bainbridge have been attending camps for years – all overseen by Head Coach, Jonathan Pugh.
Over four days the team were working on different aspects of their game, be it on the pitch working on elements such as passing or in classroom sessions breaking down the game tactically, in addition to recovery sessions, and team bonding exercises. The Tony Larkin pitch also played host to an array of goalkeeping sessions over the duration of the camp, which focus on close-play and speed drills, ran by Goalkeeping Coach Tony Elliott.
At the camp, Jonathan Pugh, Head Coach of the England Blind team said: “The facilities at St. George's Park are incredible, they include one of only two Blind Football pitches in the UK, and I think are the best in the world. St. George’s Park allows us to help grow the team and the sport – and it’s brilliant to see a younger crop of blind players coming through in this camp.”
The England Blind team will be back at St. George’s Park in November for another camp ahead of their competitive international versus Germany Blind team.
The squad’s visit to St. George’s Park followed an ambitious three-year plan launched by The FA, entitled Football Your Way, which focuses on developing, improving and raising awareness of Disability Football in England. For further information about Football Your Way, please visit The FA’s website here.
To learn more about the opportunities to participate and play in disability football, click here.