MK Dons Ability Counts has launched three new disability football teams, taking its total to 20 teams.
The Dons’ Ability Counts, which is the disability football programme run by MK Dons Sport and Education Trust (SET), has introduced new Under-12s and Under-16s PAN disability football teams – comprised of footballers with differing impairments, playing together.
There is also a new adult unified team, in which people with and without disabilities play on the same teams.
The adult unified team, with the support of the Berks and Bucks Football Association (BBFA), provides an extension to the player pathway for disability footballers.
The team will play 11-a-side and its aim is for players aged 16-25 years to fulfil their ambitions of playing alongside mainstream footballers in a competitive environment.
This adds to the current disability football set up which now includes four youth teams, 13 adult teams, one wheelchair team and two powerchair teams.
Dennis Woolford, Inclusion Manager, said: “We have always prided ourselves on delivering one of the best disability football offerings in the country. To move from 17 to 20 teams is great testament to the players and coaches that have worked tirelessly to create opportunities for players to thrive, regardless of their ability, and to grow the interest in disability football in Milton Keynes.
“By offering playing and training opportunities to disabled footballers from the age of five means we can engage with youngsters at an early stage, which helps with their football development as well as creating social opportunities.
“Our adult unified team is, in my opinion, the missing piece of the jigsaw for our disability football set-up.
“By playing alongside and against mainstream footballers is often the aim for many of our players and some think this is unachievable but it’s a realistic target and it’s a great opportunity for these players.
“The great thing about all of our disability teams is they all play as MK Dons, in the MK Dons kits and they represent the football club, which is an incredibly proud moment for the individuals involved and their families.
The adult unified team play their first match on Sunday 27th September at Woughton on the Green.
The Under-12s and Under-16s teams will play in the Berks, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Inclusive (BOBi) League. Teams competing in the BOBi League play once a month in a round-robin tournament with the points accumulated at the end of the day.
To get involved in disability football with MK Dons SET, contact Dennis Woolford on 01908 622937 / 07595 068212 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org