Deaf Friendly Football Club (DFFC)/NDCS National Youth Football Tournament on Sunday 28th October 2007

Fulham Deaf Youth participated in the above tournament organised by the NDCS, at the West Bromwich Football Academy. This tournament was headed up by our fellow Fulhamite, Rob Danson

(Spot Rob in one of the photos if you can! – Ed) in his role as the NDCS Football Development Officer. However, unfortunately for us(!), Rob was very professional on the day, and put aside any allegiances and was impeccable, all credit to him!

The squad for the day consisted of Rolf Choutan, George Fry, James March, Bartek Ostrowski and Jacob Willis.

In the group stages, we played Birmingham ‘A’ first, raced into a 2-0 lead, and then got a bit sloppy, which enabled Birmingham ‘A’, to pull two goals back and the match ended in a 2-2 draw. The next match was against Birmingham ‘B’, which we won 4-0. We next dispatched of Royal School for the Deaf, Derby 4-0 and Northampton Town Deaf 7-0. We ended up top of the group, although we had the same number of points as Birmingham ‘A’, our goal difference was 15 whilst Birmingham ‘A’s was 11.

In the semi-finals we played the 4th placed side, which was Northampton Town Deaf. This time it was not the formality as it was in the group stages. Their goalkeeper was in inspired form. This was reflected in the fact that he won the player of the tournament for that day. Shots rained on his goal, the match was one-way territory, but he somehow kept the vast majority of them out, and the match ended in a slender 2-1 victory.

We met Birmingham ‘A’ again in the final. After a tense and dour first half, Fulham scored two goals midway through the second half. Unfortunately, the lessons from the first match were not learnt, and Birmingham ‘A’ pulled back to 2-2 and went on to score the winner with almost the last kick of the game! All credit to them, they had grit and determination in spades.

This was a great day, and the boys were a credit to Fulham Deaf, The day showed our boys were by far the best footballing side in terms of passing & movement. We just need to learn to close teams down when we are in the lead, and also acquire more grit and determination when our backs are to the wall. I’m sure this will come with time as our boys were a very young side compared to Birmingham.

Special mention should go to our trusty coach Tony O’Donnell who got the best out of the boys, and the parents who came along and supported our boys. Fulham were by far, the best represented in terms of parental support!

Many thanks to Martin Willis for producing a fine report, and to Michal Ostrowski’s wife for taking the pictures on the day.