Sports Development fosters six international footballers
17 December 2014
Six footballers from the Vale are going to be lining up against England in 2015 thanks to a joint initiative between the Welsh Football Trust and the Vale of Glamorgan Sports Development Department.
Over 2 years ago plans were put in place for football sessions with coaches from Post 2 Post coaching and the Welsh Football Trust Development Officer to run for Special Educational Needs Schools and departments throughout the Vale in order to help feed the Welsh National Learning Disabilities Squad.
Funding was gained through a partnership with the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Sports Development Department, who also helped create links with the schools to set up the sessions.
These sessions then alerted the coaches to several players throughout the Vale of Glamorgan and now six players have represented their country at international level.
Abdel Boulaiche, Coby Mardenborough, Ryan Garland, James Leake, Zach Cleary and Luke Swain all helped the Welsh National LD team in winning the 2014 Home Nations where they were undefeated against the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Later in the year Wales drew 3-3 with a very experienced England side after being in front for most of the match.
All the players are looking forward to their futures in football with every one of the team looking to play at the highest level they can, including Ryan Garland who will be playing his football in Australia for the next year.
Simon Jones, Disability Sport Wales Development Officer for the Vale Council, said: “This is an excellent example of how partnership working can benefit local people who take part in sport. A lot of these players weren’t known to either party before the project took place, now six of them have gone on to represent their county which is a credit to the coaches and the players themselves.”
Wales will be playing England in March 2015 with an aim to improve on the 3-3 draw earlier this as well as defending their Home Nations title in April.
For more details please visit www.welshfootballtrust.org.uk or ring Simon Jones on 01446 704728.