Over the last year the SJFA has been working closely with the FA Disability Talent Hub. The Talent Hub, one of only 13 across the country, supports young footballers who have cerebral palsy, hearing impairments or are partially sighted, providing opportunities to progress from grassroots club football. The Talent Hub plays an instrumental role in guiding the players along a clear pathway, potentially towards the elite England set-up.
The Talent Hub is split into two age groups, with players from 7-11 years old and 12-16 years old, participating in training sessions. Based at Hampton School, players have access to regular sessions throughout the season under the guidance of FA qualified coaches.
The SJFA under 14’s have been playing friendlies over the year across a range of age groups. This has assisted the Hub with their training. This has also helped to educate our boys in many ways. The collaboration also fits nicely with our diversity and inclusion strategy.
Last Sunday (29 October) the boys and their coach (Abbas Merali) travelled to Hampton, West London for another couple of friendlies. The match report can be found here.
Abbas Merali commented after the collaboration “the boys played very well, were respectful when playing outdoors against the FA disability team, especially when scoring and celebrating a goal…… the deaf and hard of hearing including the coach himself and was extremely interesting to watch the coach signing to his players and the players knowing where their team were without luxury of sound”.
A parent on the day commented…”what a fantastic and humbling experience for myself and ….”
We will inshallah continue our collaboration with the FA Disability Talent Hub.
Salaams & Dua
SJFA “One Team”