For the second year running, Walsall College’s Supported Learning Sport Academy football team are West Midlands region winners of the AoC Sport PAN Disability Football tournament.
Having come away with a silver medal in the tournament’s national finalists earlier this year, they are now aiming to go one better in 2023.
Lecturer and sports coordinator/coach, Andy Higgins said: “It’s hugely rewarding for the students, their families and the Academy’s staff team to have backed up last year’s success.”
He continued: “Representing the college at the national championships in the spring was an amazing experience for the students. They got to meet and be inspired by many of the athletes taking part in all the different events.
“Our memories of the competition continue to motivate us to improve further so we can’t wait to see what else we can achieve this year.”
The regional tournament took place at the University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall Campus.
The Academy team won all their matches against BMet, Newcastle College and Sandwell College in order to defend their regional title.
Abdoulie Joof who was the college’s player of the 2021/22 tournament is excited about their prospects this year. “We’re all happy to be in the national finals again and we really want to come away with the top prize this time,” said the centre back.
He added: “We’ve thought carefully about what we need to improve on this season, such as being more on the attack and conceding fewer goals. We’re already a close-knit team and will make sure our teamwork on the pitch is better than ever.”
James Baker who is representing the football team for the first time said: “I’ve always had a passion for sports so this course is ideal for me with all the opportunities to play basketball, cricket, badminton and tennis.
He continued: “Being on the football team is a great feeling. It gives me a positive mindset that I take into my English and maths classes. This is helping me improve in these areas.
“We’ve got other 11-a-side and 7-a-side festivals, league and regional tournaments to keep us motivated and will hopefully achieve lots more.”
The AoC National Championships will take place in April 2022 in Nottingham.