Bryan – My Story
Bryan is 10 years old and lives in Doncaster. He plays football in midfield and has right sided Hemiplegia.
Where it all began:
Bryan has always really loved football, and he has played with his local mainstream football team the Fishlake Falcons since the age of 7 years old. They are a great club and have been very supportive of Bryan right from the start, he wasn’t always the fastest or best player but both the lads and the coaches have always encouraged and supported him which has really helped build his confidence.
The coaches Nick Limber & Nick Buxton have both commented on how they can see Bryan has improved over the last 18 months and are impressed by his determination and focus on the game.
He also plays with another local team called Club Doncaster Titans this is actually an ability counts team where children with various disabilities get the opportunity to train and play football at a pace that suits them and their abilities. Their coach Darren Warner is fantastic and has really encouraged Bryan right from the start and said,
“Club Doncaster Titans would like to congratulate one of its hard working juniors who has finally got his place confirmed with the under 13s Cerebral Palsy England Team at the North East & Yorkshire Regional Talent Centre this week. On behalf of the club and all its staff we would like to wish Bryan all the best and we hope that this is a great spring board for him. We are absolutely delighted for him and we know he as a very bright future in front of him. Go get em Bryan”
Bryan like most children that love to play football wanted to be the best he can be and follow in the footsteps of his favourite famous footballers. Although he has CP he was determined to find a way to have the same opportunities as able bodied children, which is where the England CP team idea came about.
Wanting to know more about his condition and if there were any other players out there with the same condition who played football, Bryan found some clips of the CP England team and their captain Jack Rutter. He and his dad contacted Jack about CP football via Twitter and asked Jack for some advice of what he should do next.
Jack kindly responded and gave us the details of Paul Bird who is the Head coach for the North East & Yorkshire Regional Talent Centre where we discovered a trial for new, young up and coming players was taking place and to bring Bryan along to let them see him play although he was still only 9 years old and they were predominantly looking for players for the under 13s squad.
He impressed them at the first trial and was invited back for several trials throughout the year and the latest being the one where he was actually accepted to be part of the under 13s squad! Bryan was over the moon finally all his hard work and dedication was beginning to pay off!
The impact sport has had on Bryan’s life
His confidence and ability have recently just soared! His other teams and coaches are extremely proud. When Bryan passed his trial Jack Rutter kindly sent him a signed England shirt to congratulate him and still keeps in touch with Bryan and his progress on twitter!
Playing CP football for Bryan has helped him in many ways, he is an extremely determined and focused young boy who has never let his condition hold him back.
His confidence and physical fitness has improved no end, he even does fitness Football yoga especially for footballers to help him with his flexibility as he grows. Not only that but he has made such a great group of really good friends that will with no doubt be with him for life.
Although Bryan is really proud of himself he is very aware that there are probably other children out their who may not know about the opportunities to play CP football and he would really like to encourage others to get involved so hopefully by doing this story on him other families and children may read this and think wow I’d like to join in too!
Bryan is also very keen to set up a youtube channel to document his progress in football again hoping to help other Children with their own journey into the game.
Bryan was recently invited down to the seminar The Pathway to Success for England & Great Britain Paralympic Footballers, after Jack Rutter England & Great Britain Captain read the story in The Doncaster Free Press. Even though it was a four and a half hour drive Bryan was pretty determined to go and finally meet his hero Jack.
The event was amazing and they were all truly impressed that he and his Dad (also called Bryan) had made that kind of effort to attend the event.Bryan also met some very influential people while he was there…
Jeff Davis The head of the FA development for disability football and the Chairman of the Premiership side AFC Bournemouth Jeff Mostyn both were very impressed with Bryan and had seen the article & thought he was doing amazingly well in his development and were very impressed that he wanted to get more kids involved through his own story. While he was there they even singled him out at the seminar and spoke about his story and journey to this point and that he was well on his way to becoming a GB player of the future.
Watch Bryan in training here
Written by Bryan’s Mum, Emily