SPORTING Club Albion’s (SCA) powerchair team finished third at the EPFA Champions Cup in Paris at the weekend.
The Baggies lost their semi-final clash with eventual-champions Villeneuve d’Asq 2-0 on Sunday – but quickly bounced back to beat AS Lorient FF on penalties in the third-place play-off.
Sporting Club advanced from Pool A after beating Arhus Rolling Devils 5-0 and Vevey Egles 12-1, in addition to drawing 1-1 with Lorient and 0-0 with hosts Chatenay Malabry.
Albion then overcame Belgian giants Charleroi 2-0 to earn a place in the final four.
SCA qualified for the competition after finishing as runners-up in the WFA National Cup and third place in the WFA National Premiership.
Albion’s squad – which featured captain Chris Gordon, Amy Wharton, Daniel Kay, Rich George, David Lewis and Lizzy Tullett – travelled to the French capital in a specially-adapted 54-seater coach last Wednesday.
Disability sports coordinator, Adam Crowle, was delighted with his side’s performance against the best teams in Europe.
“We performed even better than we could have hoped,” said Crowle.
“It was a hugely worthwhile trip and we managed to surpass our expectations of reaching the quarter finals.
“There is no shame in losing a semi-final game against the team that go onto win the tournament and I’m immensely proud of all the players.
“All of the players performed incredibly well but I’d like to pay a special tribute to Dave Lewis, our B-team captain, as he came with us and did not look out of place at all.
“He made a real difference to us so I can’t speak highly enough of him."
SCA’s powerchair team is run by The Albion Foundation, a registered charity that works in partnership with the football club.
The Foundation offers an opportunity for players to represent West Bromwich Albion and wear the club’s colours in a range of sports at an elite level by running basketball, disability and girls/women’s football sections.
The disability section comprises four powerchair football teams, a Blind Centre of Excellence, a visually-impaired team, three PAN disability teams, a PAN junior team and a Down’s Syndrome team.