The Jersey Learning Disability Football team is seeking silverware at this month’s prestigious Harrogate Annual Disability Football Tournament.

The event, which is being held on 24 July, will see up to 60 teams from across the UK compete for honours. The teams are divided into groups of a similar ability, to enable all players/teams to participate at a level that suits them. Trophies are awarded to teams that finish first in their group, with medals awarded to top three placings. The tournament is sanctioned by the FA and Special Olympics GB. 

‘We are delighted to be competing in this tournament for the fourth time,’ said Gary Norman, head coach.  ‘The squad has been doing extra training in preparation for the event as we wish to repeat the success of last year when each team returned to Jersey with a medal.

‘Attending such tournaments is expensive and although covering the cost of the trips is our primary focus, having matching branded kit is also important to ensure that everyone travelling feels part of the team. Thanks to Hawksford International, team motivation will be high on 24 July as the local Trust company has provided the whole squad with Jersey Learning Disability Football branded kit bags.  Dominion is also providing branded kit. We will be holding our heads high knowing we are representing our island in a smart and professional manner,’ concluded Mr Norman.

In addition to the kit bags, Hawksford International will also be funding the squad’s winter training. ‘Training outdoors all winter can be tough with more sessions than not cancelled due to weather.  Thanks to Hawksford International we can train all year round as they will be funding indoor pitches for our training sessions throughout the 2011/2012 winter,’ added Mr Norman.

‘We are delighted to be supporting The Jersey Leaning Disability Football squad,’ said Peter Murley, chief executive, Hawksford International. ‘The LD team are very passionate about their sport and we wish them every success in their upcoming tournament.’ 

Seventeen players will make up the two Jersey 5-a-side teams, both of which have been entered into the novice and lower novice sections of the tournament. Each team will play two short games to ensure that they are in the correct grouping of a similar ability before the tournament kicks off. The tournament takes a round robin format and although the games are only 10 minutes each, with six or seven teams making up each group, the Jersey teams will be playing plenty of football.