St George’s Park will play host to back-to-back finals on Saturday 7th May as the climax to three domestic disability cup competitions take place.
It’s all part of the inaugural Disability Cup Finals Day and marks the start of a major period of activity in disability football, culminating with the Great Britain Cerebral Palsy (CP) side participating in the Paralympic Games in Rio this September.
In the Powerchair Cup Final, Watford’s Aspire take on Northern Thunder from the north east while the CP Final features Lancashire side CP United and Chelsea – who qualified as winners of the northern and southern conferences respectively.
The showcase is concluded with the Blind Cup Final, where Sporting Club Albion take on RNC Shrews in an all-Midlands affair.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Wheelchair Football Association National League, CP Sport National CP Football League and the National Blind Futsal League,” said Colin Chaytors, Chair of The FA Disability Football Committee.
“It is our ambition that The FA Disability Cup Finals Day will become a permanent fixture on the football calendar, so that we can celebrate the achievements of those involved, whilst also raising awareness of the opportunities that exist for everyone within disability football.”
Sporting Club Albion have been a part of the National Blind Futsal League for eight seasons and boast previous cup-winning pedigree.
Team coach Paul Glover said: “We are thrilled to get there and it is a big achievement, we won the league this year too so hopefully it’ll be a double season success.”
Newcastle’s Northern Thunder are looking to edge out fierce rivals Aspire in the Power Chair Final and after they won the title last season, are duly keen to retain the trophy.
“It’s a long standing rivalry between the two teams, and through the national league both teams normally battle it out for first or second position in the table,” said boss Adam Parry.
“With them winning the league this year and just beating us to it at the last minute, it means we are fired up and don’t want them to get that double.”
And CP United FC’s founder Michelle Willcock spoke of their ambition ahead of the game with Chelsea by proclaiming: “The club’s ethos is about developing players.
“It is nice for the team to get to the final, but real success for us is the growth of the club and the more players with CP being able to access football is the ultimate aim for our club.
“Trophies are great but they are a bi-product of focusing on development and getting the environment right for the players involved.”
Highlights from the three finals will appear on TheFA.com next week.
The Disability Cup Finals Day
Saturday 7 May 2016 St. George’s Park Powerchair Cup FinalAspire v Northern Thunder CP Final CP United v Chelsea Blind Cup FinalSporting Club Albion v RNC Shrews
From The FA