It was goals galore at Oxford United’s Bangkok Glass Training Centre on Saturday morning as the club’s disability football squad hosted Northampton Town in a series of friendly matches.
Held exactly a year after Oxford United in the Community launched its disability football programme in partnership with Abingdon and Witney College, the day marked a first opportunity for United’s players to represent the club badge on home turf.
First-team Head Coach Des Buckingham was on the touch line providing his support with other senior staff at the club while Oxford United in the Community coaches led the all-important team talk before kick-off and provided encouragement from pitch side.
Due to a strong turnout from both teams, a number of 10-minute matches were held across two pitches. Goals were scored from all angles and ranges, while defensively players from both teams made several key blocks and interceptions to keep all fixtures tight until the final whistle.
Mark Thomas, Social Inclusion Lead at Oxford United in the Community, hailed the day as a huge success and thanked Northampton Town and the club’s Community Trust for their support.
“The progress our disability football squad has made since the programme was launched in January last year is quite remarkable,” said Mark. “Players have really bonded as a team, and the improvements they’ve made physically and socially are really noticeable.
“Some great goals were scored on both pitches and we’re grateful to Northampton Town and the team behind the club’s Community Trust for making Saturday’s fixtures possible.
“Twelve months ago, our players had never met and almost all had very limited experience playing football. To see them working together and playing with confidence as a team really underlined what our disability football programme aims to achieve.
“We’d like to thank Russell Lewis (Disability Development Officer at Northampton Town Community Trust) and his colleagues for their contribution in our team’s first home fixture a huge success.”
Further information about Oxford United in the Community’s disability football programme delivered in partnership with Abingdon and Witney College is available via the charity’s website – www.ouitc.org.
Sessions are free and open to players of all abilities aged 18+ and are held at Abingdon and Witney College’s Abingdon campus in the main sports hall every Wednesday from 1pm.
Organisations interested in supporting or funding the programme are invited to learn more by contacting [email protected].
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