This weekend will see St. George’s Park host the FA Disability Cup, which is the largest competition of its kind in their country and for the past four years has ensured that players within impairment-specific football have a national FA competition to call their own.
Our North East &Yorkshire team will be competing in the Cerebral Palsy Cup Final so we caught up with the team ahead of the fixture:
Joe Mckechnie, a member of the North East & Yorkshire squad, said: “It’s a great feeling, a true honour and privilege for myself and for the team that we get to represent the North East & Yorkshire region and CP Football on such a stage. As one of the older squad members and someone who has been involved with the team since the beginning, it’s great to see the players getting these types of opportunities and to see the sport link up with BT Sport to receive these types of opportunities to promote.
“Hopefully this will help to raise awareness of the football provision that is available for people with Cerebral Palsy and will help to gain further support for our CP Football regional teams and the CP Football league.
“I’m truly very grateful to everyone involved in making this opportunity possible for the FA Disability Cup Final. It promises to be another amazing experience and one that I will cherish forever.
“I also just want to give a huge thank you to Simon Keaney (team manager) as without his involvement with the team, I fear there would be no North East & Yorkshire CP Football team; the opportunity to play football for our group would have passed away many years ago. Simon selflessly retired from playing to take over as manager of the team when things weren’t looking good for us. I can’t give Simon enough credit for the work he’s done with the team over the last six years and for the success he continues to bring to this very special group of players.”
More quotes ahead of the big day…
“I’m excited because as it’s my first game on live TV and the sport is getting some good exposure, which could give us more opportunities in the future”
“This is a huge game for the team and as an individual, one which I’m very proud to be part of! This team, like many, have had ups and downs however we are now battling on the big stage year after year. It’s really exciting and I hope we can get the result we want!”
“It’s great for the lads to be able to showcase their abilities.”
“Really looking forward to the upcoming game, it’s my first final with the senior team and I hope we can just work as the team I know we are to get the result we’re looking for.”
For the first time ever, the Finals will be broadcast on BT Sport 1HD and on Facebook Live. Below is the schedule of events:
11:00am – Powerchair Cup Final in Partnership with the Wheelchair Football Association
13:00 – Cerebral Palsy Cup Final in partnership with CP Sport
15:15 – Partially Signed Cup in partnership with the National Partially Sighted League
In addition to the finals on Saturday, there also will be a female blind 2v2 showcase game.
11:00 – Amputee Cup Final in partnership with England Amputee Football Association
13:00- Blind Cup Final in partnership with the National Blind Football League
Good luck to the team, from everyone at North Riding FA!