Two players who have come through Derby County Community Trust’s Disability Programme achieved the ultimate goal this weekend as part of the Cerebral Palsy England team who came out on top at the U19 CP European Championships, part of the Para Youth Games in Genoa, Italy.
Freddie Lamb and Saul Simpkin both featured in the 14-man squad who played over a 5 day tournament in Italy, defeating Spain and Denmark in their opening games before claiming gold position in a 3-0 win in the final against Denmark.
England’s opening game against Denmark saw them take a 2-0 win, scoring in just 20 minutes and again in stoppage time to secure victory. Spurred on by this opening win, they followed it with a resounding 6-2 victory over Spain, with Freddie playing in goal, keeping the opposition’s chances to a minimum, and Saul featuring heavily throughout the game.
Their back-to-back wins saw the team progress to the final where they met play-off winners Denmark for the second time. Saul and Freddie both featured in the opening line-up. Victory was nearly in the bag by half time when the score line stood at 2-0, but England sealed the win by adding a third goal in the second half to claim gold in the Championship.
Saul, who also works as an Apprentice at DCCT, and Freddie were overjoyed with the victory, as was Liam Drake, Derby City SSP School Sport Officer and FA Disability Coach who described the whole experience as “an absolute pleasure”.
It was the first tournament of its kind held in Europe, and Saul and Freddie hope to continue their journey with the England team to further tournaments and competitions.