In an exciting display of club versus country, Bradford Disability Football Club (BDFC) will play England Mencap this Sunday 27 April at the Coral Windows Stadium - kick off is at 10.45am.
This eleven-a-side, sixty-minute friendly game has been eagerly-anticipated by the players.
An opportunity to play against England on the pitch of their home club is without doubt one of the highlights of the sporting calendar.
It will be especially emotional for Adam Stones, a BDFC player selected to be a part of this year’s England Mencap squad!
Mencap formed its national football team over 30 years ago to take part in European Championships held in Switzerland.
Each year a different ability level is chosen to ensure that players of all abilities get the opportunity to play for their country. National football trials are held each year to select players for the squad. Those selected attend a training weekend about a month before the squad flies out to Geneva.
The team are in Leeds from 24 – 27 April on a training weekend and will play BDFC on the Sunday.
The team will be looking forward to this match as they prepare for the European championships in June.” Mark Summers, the Mencap Team Manager said: “Bradford City have previously given us a warm reception at the ground and we were delighted to be able to play here again.
Ian Ormondroyd, Club Chairman and Bradford City FC Community Foundation officer, said “Bradford have had a player in the England Mencap squad every year for the last decade, a real testament to the consistent performance of the Bradford team and it’s ability to not only provide a provision of football but also to coach them to compete at a national level.
“The club are extremely proud of the disability team and their achievements and would ask fans to support the team and attend the event which will be free."
Johnny Holdsworth, who has learning difficulties and Cerebral palsy, was one of four BDFC players who attended the England trials at Warwick in February, was chosen to play for England.
Asked how he felt about his England call up, he said, “I am very excited for the training weekend and the European championships in Switzerland, I hope to do both my club and country proud.”
Bradford Disability Football club was founded in 2002 with an initial grant of £1,000 and 8 players, now it has over 100 members aged from 6 to 60 and is growing in its profile and its membership every year. The disability club is a part of the Bradford City FC Community Foundation.