Disability Player Development Centre

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Sheffield & Hallamshire FA’s Disability Player Development Centre has closed for the 2011/12 following a successful first season.

The Centre, which has taken place of the Disability Centre of Excellence, was launched as part of the FA Disability Talent Programme.

Focusing on individual player development and the development of technique in young players with a mixture of disabilities, the centre caters for people with learning disabilities, deaf and hearing impairments, visual impairments, cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

The season has consisted of 16 sessions run by the County FA at the Goodwin Sports Centre, Northumberland Road, Sheffield.

In November the players visited the Disability Player Development Centre at Cheshire FA, where they were joined by players from Liverpool FA’s Disability Player Development Centre as part of one of the two fixture days enjoyed.

The second fixture date saw the Sheffield & Hallamshire FA Disability Player Development Centre welcome its equivalents from Staffordshire FA, who enjoyed the recently resurfaced 60x40 3g pitch at Goodwin.

Chris Bly, Senior Football Development Officer at Sheffield & Hallamshire FA, said: ““The first season running a Player Development Centre has been a learning curve, but moving from Centre of Excellence status we had some solid foundations to build upon.

“We are extremely grateful to the University of Sheffield for enabling the PDC to be based at Goodwin Sports Centre, which has always been a good facility, but with the recent pitch upgrades the playing surface is excellent.

“We have retained a number of players from our Centre of Excellence, whilst using initiatives such as Playground to Podium to identify new players who are gifted and talented, with the potential to progress through to Regional and hopefully National representative level.

“One of the players from our PDC is also attending the Regional Cerebral Palsy Centre of Excellence in York and we hope that in the coming seasons other players will be able to progress to the relevant disability specific Regional Centres.

Credit should also go to the staff who have worked with the players each week, and the benefits are there for all to see. I hope that we can build on our achievements in the next season.”

It is anticipated that trials for the 2012/13 Centre will take place in September.

For further information on the Disability Player Development Centre, or if you have any other queries regarding disability football, please contact Chris on 0114 241 4992 or email christopher.bly@sheffieldfa.com

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