Talented young footballers from across Sussex are being given the best-possible chance of fulfilling their football dreams thanks to support from Albion in the Community.
AITC currently runs a talent hub on behalf of The FA aimed at junior players who have cerebral palsy, a hearing impairment or who are partially-sighted.
The hub provides regular expert coaching to promising young players with a view to producing potential future internationals across a number of disability-specific competitions.
They are a key part of AITC’s commitment to ensuring people with a disability are given the opportunity to play football at whatever level is best-suited to the player: be it social inclusive clubs, elite player development sessions or teams that compete locally, regionally or nationally.
Players at The FA talent hub train twice a month and play regular fixtures, predominantly against junior teams from within mainstream football. Sessions are futsal-based and run by qualified coaches with an experience delivering sessions for people with a disability.
Eight players from the talent hub have already been accepted onto The FA’s regional emerging talent programme, which represents the next step along a national talent pathway that ends with the England teams.
And the success of the AITC talent hub is not limited to just the players. AITC coaches Chris Day and Sal Issa have also impressed, with both invited to oversee the FA’s 7-11 age-group at regional training camps.
Paul Brackley, AITC’s disability manager, said, “This is the third year in which we have been commissioned by The FA to deliver regional talent programmes and it's something everyone at the charity is particularly proud of.
“Providing people who have a disability with the chance to develop their skills in an appropriate and supportive environment is something we feel very strongly about at AITC, and The FA’s talent hub programme fits perfectly alongside our wider delivery.
“The players attending the hub have really seized the opportunity and it is fantastic to see them progressing so well.
“I am certain there is more than one future international among them.”
AITC’s talent hub takes place at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy on Lewes Road, Brighton.
For more information on AITC’s FA regional talent hub, or the other sessions the charity runs for people with a disability, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
AITC currently runs more than 30 regular football sessions for people with a disability, which are attended by upwards of 300 players.