Deaf Sports Events1st July 2015

Great Britain Deaf Football Take Creditable Third Spot

Just missing out on a place in the final, the GB Team should be proud of their bronze medal achievement

by SLFirst Sports Team


Having very successfully navigated their way through a tough group stage at the European Deaf Football Championships in Germany, the Great Britain team found themselves up against Sweden in the quarter finals. Played on the 21st June in the Erika-Fisch Stadium, hopes were high that the GB team would progress to the semi finals with a possible match-up against the team from Ireland.

With three games still to go in the competition, the managers picked a starting eleven that they thought would see them through to the next round. The team was:

12 ATKINSON (GK), JOHN
2 HALFPENNY, SAMUEL
4 MILLENSTED, JEREMY
5 BYFIELD, MATTHEW
6 LAMPERT, BENJAMIN
7 DOLAN, PHILIP JOHN
8 ALLEN, THOMAS
9 CLARKE, JAMIE
16 WILLIS, JACOB
17 KERR, JORDAN
20 DALZIEL, ALISTAIR

Substitutes
15 GREGORY, NICHOLAS
3 MCCARTHY, PAUL
11 COSTI, MARIOS

Known for their quick starts in games, it was the GB team who fell behind with 13 minutes on the clock, Albert Boklund putting Sweden ahead. Despite this set back, the GB team slowly imposed themselves on their opposition, but they had to wait until the 43rd minute, before star performer Thomas Allen (Harry) pulled them level, making for a slightly easier half time talk.

Both teams made a substitution just after the re-start with Samuel Halfpenny replaced by Nicholas Gregory in the British side. With momentum seemingly with the British side just before half time, it was Sweden who started the second half in determined fashion, taking the lead on 52 minutes through a goal by Oliver Rasinaho. However, the British team were to enjoy a purple patch mid-way through the half with 3 goals in 9 minutes, the first and Britain’s second scored by Phi Dolan after 66 minutes, and goals from Thomas Allen and substitute Nicholas Gregory following in the 71st and 75th minutes respectively.

Marios Costi joined the fray for the final 10 minutes, but there were to be no more goals and the Great Britain team progressed through to the semi finals to take on Turkey who had looked highly impressive in their 5 - 2 win against the team from Ireland. With the man of the match award going to Thomas Allen. the Great Britain team were able to reflect on a job well done.

With only days between games, the semi-final against Turkey was played on the 24th June at the Oststadler Stadium. The team chosen for this game were:

1 BOYLE (GK), THOMAS
3 MCCARTHY, PAUL
4 MILLENSTED, JEREMY
5 BYFIELD, MATTHEW
7 DOLAN, PHILIP JOHN
8 ALLEN, THOMAS
9 CLARKE, JAMIE
11 COSTI, MARIOS
17 KERR, JORDAN
20 DALZIEL, ALISTAIR
21 SWIFT, PHILIP

Substitutes
14 REA, DANNY
10 AILEY, DANIEL
15 GREGORY, NICHOLAS

With a decent sized crowd watching and plenty of support for the GB team the early part of the game sees some good link play between Clarke and Costi, but the players from Turkey were also able to carve out some early opportunities too. Early signs were that this was going to be a close game.

The first booking of the game came from a challenge by the Britain Captain Dalziel on a familiar face in British Deaf football, Huseyin Er, Dalziel keen to stamp his authority on the game, but the early booking being something the team would have liked to avoided.

However, minutes later, Phil Dolan again shows the excellent form he had taken into the competition when he put the British team 1 - 0 up in the game and with Thomas Allen doing a great job on the influential Turkey star player Esref Metin Su, early signs were good. In a game with a foul committed every three minutes, the game was something of a stop-start affair, with the referee brandishing his yellow card 9 times in the game. Both teams were desperate for this win, there was no doubt about that.

With half time looming the Great Britain team were to take a 2 - 0 lead in the game with Matthew Byfield scoring their second goal. Looking in control and having the measure of the Turkey side, it was Huseyin Er, who provide change momentum in this game, scoring for his team on the stroke of half time. What a difference that goal made to the half time talks for both teams.


Danny Rea was to replace Philip Swift just after half time and Daniel Ailey was to come on for Marios Costi after 61 minutes to keep the energy level high in the Great Britain attacking line. With players comfortable on the ball, Turkey keep the momentum gained in the last minute of the first half, throughout the second half, and pressurising the GB penalty area, it was Alistair Dalziel who would commit a hand ball in the area, not only conceding a penalty but also earning his second yellow card of the game and an early end to his game.

Talented Su, slotted home, bringing the game all square but with momentum definitely with the Turkey side. Nicholas Gregory came on to replace Danny Rea in the 78th minute but there was a feeling of the inevitable at this stage, and survived until the closing minutes, the Turkey side were to snatch their place in the final with a winning goal coming from Inametin Sunmez.

It was a tough blow for the Great Britain side to take. They had fought valiantly throughout the competition, but especially in this game, but had come up just short of securing their place on the final. With their goalkeeper Thomas Boyle named as man of the match, there were few who would argue that Turkey deserved their place on the final.

With one more game to go, not all was lost for the Great Britain side, with a bronze medal still up for grabs and like their Ukrainian opposition, the players would need to put aside their disappointment and get themselves up for their final match in the tournament.

Played at the Rudolf Kalweit Stadium on the 26th June the team and substitutes for this game were:

12 ATKINSON (GK), JOHN
2 HALFPENNY, SAMUEL
3 MCCARTHY, PAUL
4 MILLENSTED, JEREMY
5 BYFIELD, MATTHEW
8 ALLEN, THOMAS
9 CLARKE, JAMIE
11 COSTI, MARIOS
15 GREGORY, NICHOLAS
16 WILLIS, JACOB
17 KERR, JORDAN

Substitutes
6 LAMPERT, BENJAMIN
7 DOLAN, PHILIP JOHN

With the spectators barely settled in their seats, the Ukrainian team were to show Great Britain that they had not turned up just to pick up fourth place in the competition, they were here to play, and with just 2 minutes gone, they were ahead through Viktor Pustovit. A tough job just got a lot harder for the British side, but with experience dotted throughout their side, supporters were still hopeful of a strong showing in the game.

As it was, they did not have to wait long before their Great Britain side were level, Jamie Clarke hitting the back of the net in the 21st minute with a much deserved goal. Determined to take medals home with them, the British side were combative throughout, committing 20 fouls to the 7 by Ukraine. With no addition to the score, the teams went for a well deserved break with the scores tied at 1 a-piece.

‚ÄčAt the re-start, Great Britain brought on Benjamin Lampert and Philip Dolan to replace Samuel Halfpenny and Paul McCarthy with the British side looking to dominate possession. Remaining strong in the tackle Nicholas Gregory drew the first yellow card of the game after 52 minutes, quickly followed by the first for their opposition 2 minutes later by Aleksandr Vereshch who was substituted soon after.

Looking deadlocked, neither team seemed keen to over-commit but with a draw looming large, Jamie Clarke was to pop up to score his second of the game, giving Great Britain a 2 - 1 lead in the game. Great Britain did not fall back on that lead, several good plays providing further openings, but without further goals from either side, the British team were relieved when the end of the game was signalled, and the players were able to pick up those all important bronze medals.

In the final, Turkey proved far too strong for Russia, scoring 2 goals in each half to take a comfortable 4 - 0 win and the prize of European Deaf Football Champions, the much lauded Su, scoring a hat trick in the final.

In the women’s competition, contested between four sides, the British side gained significant experience from taking part in the competition and competing at this level. Having shown fighting spirit in every game, the attitude of the players was roundly praised after the tournament and with the rise in popularity in women’s Deaf football, it is hoped more teams will be in the mix when the tournament next takes place.

Final Standing in the men’s Competition:
1st   Turkey - Gold Medal Winners
2nd   Russia - Silver Medal Winners
3rd   Great Britain - Bronze Medal Winners
4th    Ukraine
5th   Germany
6th   Ireland
7th   Sweden
8th   Belgium
9th   Italy
10th Czech Republic
11th France
12th Croatia
13th Denmark
14th Hungary
15th Poland
16th Greece

Highest Scorer of the competition was Esref Metin Su, from Turkey

Best Goalkeeper was adjudged to be Jonas Derrick of Belgium

The best player of the competition was Jason Maguire from Ireland.

The Fair Play Team Award went to Ukraine

Article by SLFirst Sports Team

posted in Deaf Sport / Deaf Sports Events

1st July 2015