WREXHAM inclusion football club secured the title in the final against ..... wrexham.
In what was a proud moment, two Wrexham teams reached the final of the George best disability cup with Wrexham B taking the title. Here is a review of the trip.
On Wednesday the 13th of june Wrexham Inclusion Football club took 22 players from varying backgrounds and disabilities including Autism, ADHD, Learning disabilities and many more to the George Best Community Cup for the second time. Many of the players were travelling away from home on their own for the first time, it was also the first time on a plane for many.
After a plane journey from Liverpool John Lennon Airport they arrived in Belfast International Airport. After an hour coach journey which involved much singing they arrived at the beautiful Stranmillis University which would be their home for the next two nights.
The George Best Community Cup is an annual five-a-side cup competition for clubs catering for players with a disability.
It is run by the Irish Football Association and supported by the George Best Foundation and Cash for Kids through the Mary Peters Trust.
Teams came from all across the United Kingdom and featured over 50 teams.
Thursday saw the three teams play five grading games to decide which level they would be in the following day. This gave the players time to get used to the windy conditions which made football difficult for all teams throughout the tournament.
On the Friday the serious football started with teams being put into the final groups. The stand out point being the Wrexham Red and the Wrexham Blue team being in opposite groups in the same level with the potential to meet each other in the later rounds.
The Wrexham Greys had a strong squad which included Chainie Palmer, JJ Greenshields, Reegan Cowan, Reanna Walker and Ioan Parry. They were managed by Michael Harper and Carl Austin. The group started off well for them with convincing 7 -0 and 8-0 wins. Unfortunately they lost their third game to a late goal but followed it up with a victory against the eventual competition winners at their part of the competition. They were unlucky to finish second and lose out on top spot and a place in the semi finals on goal difference.
Wrexham Red, led by Merit Steward and Philip Roberts had a squad consisting of Millie Tipping, Tyler Bevan, Morgan Basham Darren Jones and Jimmy Gilbert. They started off slowly with a 1-1 draw but followed that up with wins in their remaining five games to comfortably go through to the semi finals. In the semi finals they met Jersey where the game finished 1-1 but Wrexham came out 4-1 winners in extra time to secure a place in the final.
Wrexham Blue with James Fry, Adrian Evans, Aaron Hughes and Kym Poole in their squad and were managed by Michael Austin and Wayne Greenshields. They went undefeated in their group with solid defensive displays which led to them not conceding a goal throughout it and saw them progress to the semi finals. In the semi they played C.D.P scraping a 1-0 win to secure a place in the final v Wrexham Reds.
Amazingly out of all the teams there two Wrexham Inclusion teams in the final!
A crowd gathered to watch watch the final which was a cagey affair in the early stages. The game sparked into life with a magnificent save from Millie Tipping in goal for the reds. The game became open and end to end with the reds taking the lead through a quick counter attack which saw Morgan Basham curl an unstoppable shot into the top corner sparking celebrations from the spectators. After that the blues threw everything at them to get an equaliser the reds scored after a threaded through ball from Tyler Bevan put Phil Roberts through on goal to calmly slot home just before the final whistle.
It was an amazing achievement for the teams to get to the final and win in the biggest disability competitions which had over 600 players taking part. Wrexham's very own Phil Roberts even picked up the I.F.A player of the tournament award to cap off an amazing tournament!
Everyone at Wrexham Inclusion would like to congratulate all the staff and players on the trip for not only doing themselves proud but the club, town and country.
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