Powerchair squad named for World Cup

Power chair

Powerchair squad named for World Cup

Ireland’s powerchair footballers set to take on the world in Florida.
23rd Jun 2017

Team Ireland departs Dublin on June 27th and July 1st to participate in the third FIPFA (Fédération Internationale de Powerchair Football) World Cup, which takes place in the Silver Spurs Arena, Kissimmee, Florida from July 5th-9th 2017.

Whilst Ireland competed on invitation in the World Cup in 2011, this is the first time the Irish team has had to qualify for the World Cup, and follows on from the squad’s participation in the European Championships which were hosted in Limerick in 2014. Nine players will travel to Kissimmee, along with a team of carers, coaches and back-up staff. Ireland will compete alongside Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Japan, Uruguay, and the United States at the event, which was first held in 2007.

Drawn in Pool B, Ireland will take on England and France on Thursday 6th July, followed by Australia and Canada on Friday 7th July. The full schedule of games can be viewed here.

POWERCHAIR FOOTBALL

Powerchair football has existed since the 1970s in some form or another, but it was not until 2005 that representatives from France, the United States, Canada, Japan, England and Portugal met in Paris to discuss formalising the sport and develop a set of international rules. This led to the establishment of the Federation Internationale De Football Association (FIPFA), and the first World Cup took place two years later.

The Association of Irish Powerchair Football was established in 2008 and oversees the growth and development of the sport in Ireland, in partnership with the Football Association of Ireland and Muscular Dystrophy Ireland.

Powerchair football is played indoors between teams of four players. Players use customised motorised sports powerchairs to move a size 10 football around the court. Players are classified based on level of impairment, and a classification process will take place prior to the first games. There are two grades of classification - PF1 and PF2, PF1 being the more challenging in terms of neck movement or hand control. Teams must have two PF1s on court at all times.

PLAYER PROFILES

EMER O’SULLIVAN: Squad Captain
AGE: 19
Club: DCU STORM
From: Borris Little, Portlaoise
Achievements: Represented Ireland at U-16 in Paris in 2013. Competed at two European Champions Cup tournaments - Paris 2013 and Denmark 2016. Part of the 2014 European Nations Cup Squad.
Currently studying in DCU.

AOIFE MCNICHOLL
Age: 22
Club: DCU STORM
From: Borris Little, Portlaoise
Achievements: Represented Ireland in the second FIPFA World Cup in Paris in 2011, scoring a hat-trick against Switzerland. Competed at two European Champions Cup tournaments - Paris 2013 and Denmark 2016. Ireland Captain at the European Nations Cup in 2014, voted the most valuable player and winner of the FAI Football for All award. Has just finished her final year in DCU studying Psychology.

PATRICK FLANAGAN:
Age: 25
Club: DCU STORM
From: Tralee, Co. Kerry
Achievements: Captain of the World Cup team in Paris 2011. Competed at the European Nations Cup in 2014 and with DCU Storm in the European Champions Cup in Denmark in 2016. Studied at DCU and now works for Muscular Dystrophy Ireland.

THOMAS DONOGHER:
Age: 16
Club: Midlands United
From: Kinnitty, Co. Offaly
Achievements: Captain of the U-16 team at the Youth Development tournament in Paris 2013. Competed at two European Champions Cup tournaments - Paris 2013 and Denmark 2016.
Scored a goal against England at the European Nations Cup in 2014 in Limerick. In fifth year at St Brendan’s Community School.

SEAN DONOGHER:
Age: 15
Club: Midlands United
From: Kinnitty, Co. Offaly
Achievements: Represented Ireland at U-16 level in Paris in 2013. Competed at two European Champions Cup tournaments - Paris 2013 and Denmark 2016. In his Junior Cert year at St Brendan’s Community School.

NEIL SHEEHAN:
AGE: 20
Club: Midlands United
From: Tullamore, Co. Offaly
Achievements: Captained the U-18 Ireland team at the Youth Development Tournament in Paris in 2013. Competed at two European Champions Cups - Paris 2013 and Denmark 2016. Part of the 2014 European Nations Cup squad in Limerick. Currently studying Computers in Athlone Institute of Technology

THOMAS WINTERS:
Age: 20
Club: Kingdom Rebels
From: Trim, Co. Meath
Achievements: Represented Ireland at U-18 level at the Youth Development Tournament in Paris 2013. Scored the first goal for Ireland against Switzerland in the opening match of the European Nations Cup in 2014. Currently studying Computers in Cavan Institute.

NAGLIS MONTVILAS:
Age:14
Club: DCU STORM
From: Balrothery, Co. Dublin
Achievements: Participated at the Youth Development Camp in Paris in 2015, has won domestic shield competition with his previous club M and F United. Currently at school in Balbriggan.

KEITH HAYES:
Age: 41
Club: DCU STORM
From: Lives in Bray, from Bunclody, Co. Wexford
Achievements: Represented Ireland at the World Cup in Paris in 2011. Part of the European Nations Cup Squad in 2014 in Limerick. Played in the European Champions Cup in Denmark 2016. Works for Enable Ireland.