Clubs onboard for Vision Impaired players

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Clubs onboard for Vision Impaired players

Football is back for Irish players with vision impairments at three new regional training centres in Cork, Galway and Dublin with the support of four of Ireland’s top clubs – Cork City, Lakewood Athletic, Mervue United and Bohemian FC – and the FAI’s Football For All programme.
28th May 2021

Cork City are now working alongside Lakewood Athletic FC and the Cork based vision impaired team they host. City’s Cork City’s Community & Academy Coordinator Erika Ní Thuama and Fergus Buckley from Lakewood Athletic FC are ensuring supports will be in place for the new team who return to training on Saturday, May 29.

Mervue United FC in Galway will become the first club in the West to dip their toe into this new format of the game after representatives from the club met with the FAI and nominated coaches to participate in a blind football coaching workshop earlier this month. Co-ordinated by Robert Connolly, the club has now appointed coaching staff to their visually impaired team and currently embarking on a recruitment drive.

Bohemian FC will continue their support of the Football for All programme and amputee football in July with the launch of their Blind and vision impaired football academy, based at the facilities on the National Sports Campus at Abbotstown.

James Flanagan, access officer with Bohemians, FC, has been instrumental in embedding the new team into the club’s existing structures alongside experienced International blind football coach Alex Whelan who will head up the academy.

The enhanced programme for vision impaired football is being driven by Padraig Healy, sports development manager with Vision Sports Ireland, alongside FAI Football For All Development Officer Nick Harrison as they work together to create structures that will support the growth of Grassroots blind and vision impaired football and a pathway to the already established international team.

New players of all ages and abilities, coaches and volunteers are currently being recruited for all three regional training centres. Players interested in the programme are asked to contact Nick Harrison on 0860472051 or email nick.harrison@fai.ie for further details.