'Fantastic' Para Lions excel in Tenerife
Players from the England Cerebral Palsy, England Deaf, England Blind and England Partially-Sighted teams worked tirelessly in Tenerife during a successful multi-squad training camp
Find disability football near you
A host of England Para Lions internationals spent a week in Tenerife as they stepped up their preparations ahead of a hugely exciting 2023.
Members of the men’s Blind, Cerebral Palsy and Partially Sighted teams and players from both of our senior Deaf teams spent a week in Spain.
The camp provided the coaches with an opportunity to improve the players’ fitness, prepare for this year’s major tournaments and also instil some key England Football ‘Pride’ values.
England Para head coach Andy Smith said: “When I was playing, we used to get the mid-season breaks when the Scottish Premier League would shut down so we used to go away to Spain or somewhere like that and it was a way of getting away from the poor weather, getting to use great facilities like the ones we had on this trip, and work on things [as a team] because when you get back in, you want to hit the ground running.
“Back home, certainly when I was playing in Scotland and it is the case across the UK, you are unsure on what you are going to get [weather wise]. We have St. George’s Park but coming out to Tenerife and the challenges that the players had with the hot weather, it was really pushing the players to the next level.
“Leading up to this we gave the players a training programme that they had to make sure they did because otherwise they, firstly, wouldn’t be here and, secondly, they wouldn’t have been able to do the things they are doing here because the squads have been fantastic.”
The warm-weather training camp kicks off a busy year, with the Blind and Partially Sighted sides taking part in the 2023 IBSA World Games in Birmingham, the Deaf and Powerchair teams have World Cups, and England CP having a European Championship.
The growth of disability football is a key part of the Football Your Way plan, which was launched in late-2021.
It aims to help develop, improve and raise awareness of Disability Football in England and you can learn more about the plan here.
And Smith added: “From the FA’s point of view, with the investment into our para teams, and I’m not just talking about the trip to Tenerife, but all of the programmes that we are doing – with the Amputee teams coming in as well – it is just getting stronger and stronger.”
England Para Lions squads in Tenerife
Blind (men): Azeem Amir, Daniel English, Dylan Malpas, Roy Turnham
Cerebral Palsy (men): Harry Baker, James Blackwell, Matthew Crossen, Sam Dewhirst, Jack Fox-Hockney, Liam Irons, Ryan Kay, Aaron Lucas, Giles Moore, Cameron Osburn, Thomas Page, William Ramsey, Matthew Robinson
Deaf (women): Emma Brown, Ana Cauchi, Rose Kent, Lucindha Lawson, Zara Musker, Molly Ripley, Faye Williams
Deaf (men): Harry Boorman, Henry Bowe, Joseph Dixon, Cavell Donaldson, Josh Feldman, Tommy Hobson, Oliver Manoochehri, Matthew McQueeney, Cole Neil, Matthew Oaten, William Palmer
Partially Sighted (men): Myles Chadwick, Harry Gibbons, Tom Lamb, Adam Lione, Josh Pugh, Jack Walsh