Tough start for Merseyside Blind FC

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Merseyside Blind FC played their first league game this weekend. Photo: Anna Farrell/Facebook

Merseyside Blind Football Club got their season underway at Saturday, when they played their first league matches in the National Blind Futsal League in Hereford.

Their first match was against  the hosts RNC Academy Bulls, where the league debutants from Merseyside lost by a goal scored in the last second.

Later the same day they met reigning champions West Bromwich, and got beaten 4-0.

“Our aim for the season is primarily to play and introduce some of our new players to competitive blind football, but if you speak to our players they want to win the league,” said Disability Football Development Officer Anna Farrell.

The club was first set up by several partners across the region with Everton in the Community spearheading the programme.

It started with four to five players being involved and it has since gone from strength to strength with more players, coaches and partners getting involved. It is set up for blind males who want to play football, and is completely free for any player who wants to get involved.

All coaches are FA qualified, as well as having FA’s new Coaching Blind Footballers badge.

A match of blind football is played as five-a-side futsal, with specially designed acoustic pitch boardings which prevent the ball from going out of play. They hold weekly training sessions at Greenbank Sports Academy in Aigburth in a purposely-built sports facility for people with disabilities. In the future, they hope to be able to host friendly matches on their own pitch.

Farrell told JMU Journalism: “Some of our players have been blind from birth, some have progressively lost their sight due to medical condition and are now completely blind or in the process of becoming blind, while two have lost their sight due to injuries sustained whilst serving in the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

This summer they travelled to London to show support for their team mate Roy Turnham, who represented Team GB in the London Paralympics.

Merseyside Blind FC lost their two games, but took positives from their debut and tweeted: “Plenty to review, and progress to be made. All in all a good effort against two strong teams. We intend to make an impact on the league.”

Their next chance comes on November 24th. Then they face Worcester and East Midlands where they will hope to get their first league points.

About Arild Skjaeveland, JMU Journalism