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Disabled 8-year-old from Bromley selected to join football programme

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 August 2018

Archie Hallybone suffers with Cerebral Palsy. Picture: Palace for Life Foundation

Archie Hallybone suffers with Cerebral Palsy. Picture: Palace for Life Foundation

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An eight-year-old Cerebral Palsy sufferer from Bromley has been selected to join the FA Regional Emerging Disability Talent Programme following a successful trial day.

Feeling nervous at first, he settled quickly after a talk with the coach and was soon able to show his goal scoring ability. Picture: Palace for Life FoundationFeeling nervous at first, he settled quickly after a talk with the coach and was soon able to show his goal scoring ability. Picture: Palace for Life Foundation

Archie Hallybone was an active participant in after-school football sessions at Raglan Primary School before he joined grassroots side Petts Woof FC. Finding out about the England Talent Day - the first step on the FA Disability Talent Pathway - through a friend on Facebook in June, Archie was beaming with excitement to showcase his football skills.

Reflecting on the day, Archie said: “I love to play football whenever I can.

“I also learned some new skills that the coaches told me to practice every day. Also when anyone asks me what foot I am stronger with, I say both!”

Both his confidence and knack for goals caught the eyes of the foundation coaches on the day, as well as FA Disability Football scout Mike Nolan, who referred Archie to the programme trials in Slough earlier this month.

Feeling nervous at first, he settled quickly after a talk with the coach and was soon able to show his goal scoring ability, pace and newly acquired skills.

With a promising future to represent the England Cerebral Palsy Football National Team, Archie is optimistic about representing his country:

“I feel really proud and happy that I got through, and glad that I showed the coaches enough of my skill.

“It would be crazy to play for England one day. Because of my cerebral palsy I am practicing every day to get better with my left foot!”

The FA Disability Talent Pathway is elite platform for footballers who are blind, deaf, partially sighted or have cerebral palsy or an amputated limb.

The seven steps of the Pathway provides a linear progression for talented footballers with a disability to represent their respective impairment specific national team.

The foundation endeavours to identify and support promising footballers with a disability to progress onto elite disability football talent.

To find out more about our disability programmes contact the foundation’s disability officer Keon Richardson on 07522225373, or by email at KeonRichardson@palaceforlife.org.

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