Teams from Chelsea Foundation, Derby County Community Trust and CP North West visited the WBA Academy Dome on Saturday afternoon, as the Albion Cerebral Palsy (CP) team hosted a CP National Football League match day for the first time.
The Albion CP team are in their inaugural campaign in the National CP Football League and are starting to find their feet in the competitive division despite only recently coming together as a group and coming up against strong, established sides.
Paul Hunt, Disability Sports Development Officer at The Albion Foundation, said: “The team has been running for two years now and this is our first full season in the National League. We started out with four players and we’re now up to ten which has been a good growth.
“We’re still looking for new players to join the team. They’re a competitive bunch of lads who put a lot of effort into playing for the badge.
“North West are a really strong team and we’re a team that's new and developing. We want to aspire to get to where they are over the next couple of years”
The CP National League have had fixtures scheduled in for January for the first time this campaign, a move which has coincided with Albion hosting fixtures at the indoor Academy Dome for the first time also.
Rich Kerr, National Cerebral Palsy Football Development Officer at CP Sport, said: “All the teams that have taken part today have really had a good time, we’ve had some of the coaches come over saying thank you for the facility, saying they really enjoyed it and that it’s made a big difference.
“West Brom have been a great addition to the league, Harry has been fantastic in working with the team and Paul has done a great job. I’ve had communication with him all last season to try and get West Brom into the league, it’s been great to get them here and they’ve done really well.”
The CP team works closely together with Birmingham FA, holding weekly training sessions on Monday’s in the WBA Academy Dome, Halfords Lane, B71 4LG, which are open to individuals of all genders over the age of 16 who have Cerebral Palsy (ambulant) or players with an acquired brain injury.
Harry Neville, Disability Sports Coach at The Albion Foundation, said: “The team ranges from the ages of 16/17 all the way through to their 30’s, we have fixtures once a month and we’re heading to the National Cup in March at St George’s Park.
“Corey’s had experience internationally with the England squad and he’s been great for us too. Matty has been a regular at all The Albion Foundation events, he has a fantastic attitude and he’s doing well. Our captain, Morgan has come on well this year with his leadership skills and that’s been brilliant to see.”
After hosting a CP National League matchday for the first time, Albion CP are next in action against Chelsea Foundation at the University of Northampton in February, with Saturday’s event at the WBA Academy Dome another great step in the team’s development.
“No matter the result, we always come off the pitch with a smile. We’re a good group of players and we’re still learning together but it will all come with time,” said Corey.
Morgan added: “It’s great to play in some Premier League established training facilities where professionals play regularly themselves too.”
To find out more about our CP team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org