Tuesday 3rd October
EAFC Group C: Russia 2-0 Ireland
Ireland lost 2-0 to World Champions Russia in their opening game of the European Amputee Football Championships. Russia went into the game as firm favourites with many expecting them to score freely against lower ranked Ireland. Our Irish Amputees had other ideas, however, and were unlucky not to capitalise on one of a number of chances the created in the first half.
In the most entertaining game of the championships thus far the first half was full of chances for both sides. Ireland defended deep and tried to break the Russians on the counter attack. Irish captain, James Boyle, was in superb form terrorizing the Russia, defence running at them with pace and power. At the other end, James Conroy pulled off a string of excellent saves to keep the Russians at bay.
Russian upped the intensity at the start of the second half realising they were up against a really well organised side. Goals at either end of the half from the Russia number 9 proved decisive. Although Ireland again created chances in the second 25 they failed to make the Russians pay.
Ireland face England in their second group game on Wednesday and will take confidence from their valiant performance against Russia. Russia play Greece in the other game in group B.
Thursday 5th October
EAFC Group C: Ireland 4-0 Greece
Ireland recorded a convincing 4-0 victory over Greece in their last group game of the European Championships to advance to the knock-out stages of the competition. Ireland started well and were in front within minutes of kick-off. James Boyle latched onto a Simon Baker clearance and finished powerfully across the body of the Greek goalkeeper. Christy McElligott added a second striking low past the keeper from outside the area. McElligott then turned provider, back-heeling into the path of Kevan O'Rourke who struck low to the bottom corner. Ireland continued to control the game in the second half and scored their fourth late in the game. McElligott nodded Garry Hoey's corner in at the back post to wrap up a solid Irish display.
The draw for the first ever EAFF European Championships took place this afternoon in Riva, Turkey. Europe's first ever major Amputee Football tournament will take place in Turkey from the 1st to the 10th of October this year. 12 teams from across the continent will compete for Europe's biggest prize. The tournament represents the culmination of the incredible work that has been done across Europe in developing the sport of Amputee Football since the establishment of the EAFF in 2015. With the support of UEFA, in the space of two years, the EAFF has helped European Amputee football reach unimaginable heights. Thanks to the EAFF more and more nations are taking up the sport in Europe and in October 4 of the 12 teams competing at the European Championships will be appearing in a major international tournament for the first time. The tournament also promises to be of an incredibly high standard. 3 of the top 4 nations in World Amputee Football were named 1st seeds for the draw (Russia #1, Turkey #3 and Poland #4).
Earlier today Ireland were drawn in Group C alongside World Champions Russia, neighbours England and emerging Greece. Ireland have never faced Russia or Greece in an International fixture while they have played England on numerous occasions, most recently at the Amp Futbol Cup in Warsaw in June. The squad will acknowledge that they've have been drawn in the toughest of the 3 groups but will remain confident of achieving the aims they have set out for the tournament. The squad have been training regularly this summer and will attend several more training camps before October to ensure that they are fully prepared for the challenge that lies ahead.
The tournament kicks off on the 2nd of October as hosts Turkey play Germany in the opening fixture. Ireland's group fixtures are as follows:
3rd October 17.00 (15.00 Irish time) v. Russia
4th October 16.30 (14.30 Irish time) v. England
5th October 12.00 (10.00 Irish time) v. Greece
The IAFA International management team of Nick Harrison and Declan Considine announced the Irish squad that will compete at the first ever Amputee Football European Championships in Turkey earlier today. Those selected have been training tirelessly throughout the year, meeting monthly at the University of Limerick and doing their utmost to earn their places on the flight to Turkey at the end of this month. Check out our video for a taste of what happens when the IAFA International squad get together and see the squad that will represent Ireland at the European Championships revealed.
International Squad, European Championships 2017:
International Managers: Nick Harrison, Declan Considine
Goalkeepers: James Conroy, Justin Guiney, Patrick Hutton
Defenders: David Saunders, Kevin Cahillane, Simon Baker
Midfielders: Garry Hoey, Alan Wall, Kevan O'Rourke, Éanna Durham
Strikers: James Boyle, Neil Hoey, Christy McElligott
Huge thanks to mshotstudio.pl for the fantastic video.
Both the IAFA Seniors and Juniors will be in action this Summer in Warsaw, Poland. First up the Senior International Squad will compete at the Amp Futbol Cup on the 24th and 25th of June. The Amp Futbol Cup has been the most prestigious and competitive Amputee Football tournament in Europe since its inception in 2012. In this, the sixth edition of the competition, Ireland will face England and France in the group stage and should they advance, will compete against Poland, Japan and Greece for the coveted trophy. The squad have been training tirelessly since January to prepare for the tournament and are eagerly looking forward to testing themselves against some of the world's elite teams in advance of the European Championships this October. The tournament will be live streamed and links to the stream will be available through the IAFA's social media channels on June 24th and 25th.
6 Juniors will represent Ireland at the second EAFF Junior Amputee Football Training Camp from the 6-9 of July. Following on from the enormous success that last year's camp in Dublin was, Poland will host Junior Amputee Footballers from across the continent for a weekend of football and fun. Our six Juniors were chosen for the dedication and commitment they have shown over the past year. Each player cannot wait to train alongside their European peers as they continue to develop in the hope that someday they will play in the senior squad. We would like to wish our Juniors the very best of luck for their exciting trip and hope they thoroughly enjoy the experience. No doubt they will all be donning the Green jersey in no time at all.
The Irish Senior International squad took time out from their pre-match training to help promote the EAFF's European Amputee Football Weeks which kicked off on Thursday June 1st. The initiative, supported by UEFA, will see Amputee Football events take place across Europe to promote the game and encourage the further development of the sport across the continent. Having flown back from New Jersey following their game against Mexico, preparing to meet visitors Uruguay at the Aviva on Sunday evening, the Irish squad were on hand to support the IAFA's involvement in the EAFA's initiative. The IAFA featured at the Champions League festival in Cardiff on Thursday, will send 6 Junior Amputee's to take part in the EAFF Junior Development Camp in Warsaw and will compete in the Amp Futbol Cup, also in Warsaw later this month, all as part of the Amputee Football Weeks. The association and the squad would like to thank Martin, Roy and all the Irish squad for their support.
The European Amputee Football Federation's Annual Congress will take place in Dublin this year on the weekend of the 10-12 February. The Irish Amputee Football Association and the FAI will host delegates from 14 countries across Europe for the weekend when they will discuss the future development of the sport across the continent. Those attending include hosts Ireland, reigning world champions Russia, as well as, European Championship hosts Turkey. European Amputee Football has grown from strength to strength in recent years. European Amputee Football took centre stage at the 2014 World Cup with three teams, Russia (1st), Turkey (3rd) and Poland (4th), finishing within the top five of the 20 team competition. The EAFF was later established in February 2015 on the back of this success. In 2016 the EAFF created the Amputee Football Weeks initiative to further develop the sport of amputee football in Europe raising awareness by encouraging nations to showcase their rising stars. The initiative saw 11 countries host both junior and senior events; tournaments, matches, open training sessions and demonstrations between May 14th and June 12th. In October 2017 Turkey will host the EAFF's first European Championships with qualification for the 2018 Amputee Football World Cup at stake. The delegates will have much to discuss and the future of European Amputee Football is looking very bright.
IAFA International manager Chris McElligott was selected as one of five leaders for the 2017 edition of RTE's weight loss and healthy living programme Operation Transformation. Chris hopes to inspire the public as he tackles his weight and fitness through the 8-week programme and is determined not to allow his amputation to get in his way. Chris lost his leg in a traffic accident in 2001. A legend of domestic soccer in Ireland, Chris had played for St. Patrick's Athletic and Monaghan United in the Irish Premier League, won the FAI Junior Cup with his hometown club, Ballymun United, and amassed 17 Junior International caps with Ireland before he became an amputee. In 2011 Chris returned to the game he loves and was instrumental in the foundation of the Irish Amputee Football Association. Chris acted as player-manager of the IAFF for the 2012 and 2013 seasons but chose to concentrate on coaching and managing the International team thereafter. A master tactician, possessing invaluable experience of the game, Chris has managed Ireland at various tournaments across Europe, as well as, at the Amputee Football World Cup in Mexico in 2014. Now Chris feels he's ready to prove his own fitness and is aiming to pull on the green jersey again at the upcoming EAFF European Championships in Turkey this October. In his first two weeks on the programme Chris has already lost an incredible 15 and a half pounds and has been an inspiration to anyone who has watched and followed him.
You can follow Chris's journey over at: https://ot.rte.ie/leaders/chris-mcelligott/day-16/?view=full
Who knows, later this year we may see more of this from 'The Gaffer'...
Republic of Ireland legends Damien Duff and Robbie Keane joined Noel King and former League of Ireland players, lining up against the Irish Amputee Football Association's International, for a challenge game at the FAI's headquarters in Abbotstown in December. Duff became an ambassador for the IAFA in 2015 and has been helping raise awareness for the sport of Amputee Football in Ireland ever since. Duff has held training sessions with the IAFA squad, attended the first ever EAFF Junior training camp held in Dublin in March 2015 and played a key role in arranging this match. The Irish Amputees got the opportunity to showcase their sport to the former internationals, who even gave the game a go for themselves, using crutches to play the second half. The IAFA would like to extend their warmest appreciation to all those who played on the day, to Robbie, Noel and to Damien whose continued support is invaluable to the association.
Between May 14th and June 12th 2016 the European Amputee Football Federation are promoting the sport of Amputee Football across Europe through their Amputee Football Weeks initiative. 10 countries across the continent will play host to events, tournaments, demonstrations and junior training camps, to showcase the sport. The IAFA International squad travel to Poland to compete in the second annual Podhale Amp Futbol Cup. Our Irish Amps will look to improve on last years second place finish when they take on hosts Poland, old rivals Ukraine and tournament debutants Germany. UL Sport Amputee Football Club complete their season on June 11th at the EAFA League Cup in Birmingham. The Limerick side will look to cap off a fine debut season that saw them finish second in the EAFA League to Peterborough on goal difference. The IAFA Junior Academy will host a Junior Training Camp at the University of Limerick on the same weekend. Junior Amputees from across the country will come together for a fun filled weekend of coaching and games. The Academy is growing from strength to strength. Following the incredibly successful European Junior Training Camp held in Dublin in March the IAFA Juniors demonstrated their skills and abilities at the recent FAI Junior Cup Final at the Aviva Stadium. Stay tuned for updates on what promises to be an incredibly exciting few weeks for European and Irish Amputee Football.