Young Disabled Footballers On Pathway to England
Visually impaired footballers Jamie Foster and Mikey Buchan have set their sights on England thanks to Newcastle United Foundation.
The Foundation will run the FA North East Deaf and Partially Sighted Regional Talent Centres for the second year running.
The Magpie’s charity has built on the success of last year and now has a squad of 21 players with a sight or hearing impairment with the potential to play for either England Disability teams.
The majority of the squad are based in the North East with a number of players travelling from Hull, Barnsley and Leeds for the weekly Saturday morning coaching sessions.
In the last year two players, Jamie aged 16, and Mikey aged 14, have both been involved in their respective England set ups as a result of the Talent Centre. Watch Jamie’s story here
Additional funding from the FA plus Premier League and BT Sport will underpin the sessions, increasing the opportunity for more Deaf and Partially Sighted players to become get onto the England Talent pathway.
Newcastle United Foundation Disability Coach, Reggie Dornan, commented “We are excited to build on the success of last year. The families of these players are prepared to travel great distances every week in order to attend, their commitment is incredible and goes to show just how important this opportunity is for these young people.
“The support of Northumberland FA has been invaluable in helping us retain the FA Licence for a second year, and helping us to attract players from outside the region.
“The quality of the Futsal sessions our staff deliver is something most of the young people have never experienced so it is a real step up for them. Our goal is to support as many players towards the next level of the FA Talent Pathway which is attending the Emerging Talent programme training camps in Hereford.”
Nicola Hepworth of Northumberland FA added: “We’re hugely proud to be working in partnership with Newcastle United Foundation. To hold the FA licence and to be delivering a second year of the Regional Talent Centre is fantastic and to be able to offer this support, as well as a recognised player pathway, is great for the region. We’ve had great success working in partnership with neighbouring county FA’s, which has helped us reach a larger number of young footballers.”