Deaf Sports Events8th October 2014

GB Deaf football team take the spoils

Honoured to be part of a mini pre-European Championships tournament, the GB Deaf Football team secure the title.

by Sarah Lawrence

The GBDF Men team have returned from an excellent weekend in Hannover, Germany where they were one of four teams involved in a mini tournament.

Hosted by the 2015 European Championship organisers, the mini tournament took place between Friday 2nd and Monday 5th October at the venue for the 2015 competition. 4 teams took part, playing 2 games each in a straight knock-out competition with the GB team joining France and Belgium to compete against their German hosts. "It was an honour to be asked to compete and it gave us a good opportunity to get familiar with the facilities at the venue for the European Championships," GBDF vice chair Chris Beech told me.

With a team chosen from clubs throughout the UK, the GB travelled to Germany with a strong squad of 15 players: (1. Atkinson, 2. Dalziel, 3. Cresswell, 4. Allen, 5. Lampert, 6. McCarthy, 7. Wood, 8. Millenstead, 9. Gregory, 10. Costi, 11. Willis, 12. Clarke, 13. PJ Dolan, 14. Manoochehri, 15. Swift.)

With high expectations and a great opportunity to get a confidence boost on the run up to the European Championships, the team were set the task of overcoming France in the first semi-final, to win the right the play either Germany of Belgium in the final.

A solid team performance saw the GB Deaf Football Team run out winner 2 - 1 with Swift and PJ Dolan scoring the all important goals.

However, with Germany railroading Belgium in the second semi-final, running out comfortable 7 - 1 winners, the GB team were left in no doubt about the steep challenge that ley ahead of them, if they were to be the winners of this Hannover mini tournament. Those feelings were further exacerbated when France could only secure a 1 - 0 victory against the Belgium team in the 3rd & 4th place play off.

In a well contested final with both teams playing some quality football, the UK Deaf Football team found themselves 1 - 0 down at half time. Showing courage and no small measure of team spirit, the team captured a fantastic victory against the hosts, finally overcoing the German team 2 goals to one, with the GB goals coming from a Dalziel penalty and a second from striker Clarke, a matter of minutes befre the final whistle. Commenting on winning the tournament, Chris Beech told me, "It was an honour to take part, and it was great for the team that we could win it. We now look forward to the European Championships with confidence."

Head coach Chris McGinn, proud of the team performance commented, "This has been a fantastic trip, and I'm really proud of the lads for coming back from 1-0 down in both games. They showed fantastic team spirit and desire. The future is looking great for these lads." We certainly hope so and we look forward to supporting the team when they next compete in Germany at the European Championships.

If you are interested in following the GB Team in the Europeans, the draw has been made and it can be fund at:

Article by Sarah Lawrence

posted in Deaf Sport / Deaf Sports Events

8th October 2014