Two local footballers have been selected to play in a European football tournament for people with learning difficulties.
Karl Young from Ashington and Corey Haikney from Blyth will be heading out to Spain in July after being selected to be part of a squad of nine players through the NUFC Foundation.
Both footballers play weekly with Active Northumberland’s Ability 2 Play programme which offer sports and activities for people with additional needs.The programme has had a long partnership with the NUFC Foundation - the charitable arm of Newcastle United Football Club.
The foundation regularly send coaches to help support the local football sessions at Blyth Sports Centre and to assess players during sessions and leagues across the north east.
Northumberland County Councillor, Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure said:
“ Corey has been playing football with the Ability 2 Play Scheme for 10 years and Karl, for about 3 years. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to go out and play a sport they love, on a trip paid for through the foundation. I am sure they will have a fantastic and very memorable time. ”
Corey said "This is a massive opportunity for me. I started playing for Ability 2 Play in 2006. if it wasn't for football I would be stuck playing my Xbox. I've recently started to work out in preparation for our matches in Benidorm. I'm looking forward to representing the Newcastle Foundation."
Karl said " I've been playing football for a long time. I joined the Special Olympics football team when I was 16 and played for them for 6 years. I’ve never been abroad before and I'm excited to play the other teams that will be at the matches."
Links with the Spanish tournament were developed when Rafa Benitez, himself a Spaniard, took charge at Newcastle United. Last year the foundation took a Down Syndrome team to the tournament. This year, those on the north east team have learning difficulties.
03 Jun 2018