Reflections on the National CP League

Last Saturday, saw the final fixtures of the National Cerebral Palsy League played at Mansfield Town FC’s new training facilities. Having retired from playing the beautiful game I’ve really enjoyed my role as assistant coach for Derby County Community Trust’s Adult Cerebral Palsy Team.

We finished a very respectable third place in the league, which for me is a fantastic achievement as the squad has very much been in transition as we’ve blended in a number of younger players into the squad as the season has progressed.

As a Sporting Ambassador for the charity Cerebral Palsy Sport I am particularly proud with the success of the league and the associated cup competition they have organised and facilitated. I am now looking forward to going to St George’s Park on 15th June to see Cerebral Palsy North West and North East and Yorkshire Cerebral Palsy Football Teams compete in the Cerebral Palsy Cup Final.

Preparations are already being made for next season with a couple of options currently being considered for the format of the league. Personally, I like the idea of there being regular Northern and Southern regional fixtures, complimented with intermittent national fixtures. However I think that a really important consideration is the location of fixtures as some clubs have struggled to pull together a squad of players where there has been a significant distance to travel.

For me a possible solution would be for a ‘central’ venue to be used which is roughly equal distance for each club to travel to for regional fixtures and then for national fixtures to be held at geographically central location, perhaps in Birmingham?

If there are adult CP football clubs around the country who are interested in competing in the National Cerebral Palsy League next season they should contact Richard Kerr at CP Sport in the first instance. His email address is richard.kerr@cpsport.org

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