Pan Disability League’s debut season finishes in style

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As the 2016/17 football season draws to a close, so does the inaugural season of our Pan Disability League.

Players from the 30 participating teams were fortunate enough to play their final round of fixtures at St Mary’s Stadium on Tuesday evening, where the winners from the Under 16, Adult Participation and Adult Competitive leagues were decided.

Over 200 players from three age groups and four leagues got the unique opportunity to bring down the curtain on what has been a hugely successful season for all involved.

Since its inception in July 2016, where the league was piloted on the pitch at St Mary’s, each team has been able to enjoy playing football in a structured, and sometimes competitive environment, often giving them opportunities that have not been available to them beforehand.

Darren, who’s son Ben plays for Chamberlayne Athletic, said, “Since joining the Pan Disability League he’s much more confident with a football, and now he’s playing in a team he’s got good friends and he’s thoroughly enjoying it, and as a parent that’s great to see.”

While the Under 12’s league is non-competitive, AFC Bournemouth Reds picked up the trophy in the Under 16’s league, finishing just ahead of their AFC Bournemouth Black counterparts.

In the Adults Participation league it was Andover Streets Ahead who came out as worthy winners, while Bournemouth made it a double with AFC Bournemouth Ability Counts Red coming out on top ahead of Sholing FC White in the Adult Competitive league.

Regardless of the winners however, it was an evening of celebration for all involved as they were cheered on and supported by their families and friends in the stands.

Dave Duffy, Manager and Chairman of Caulkhead Strollers, commented, “The camaraderie between all the teams and players is fantastic, and we all look forward to coming over from the Isle of Wight on the ferry every couple of weeks to get involved.”

We would like the thank our partners Hampshire FA for their support in setting up the counties first official Pan Disability League, and we would also like to thank our official league sponsors, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, for their generous contribution which helps us continue to create opportunities for people of all abilities.

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