On Thursday 30th March 2023, Birmingham County FA held the inaugural Pan-Disability Education League Festival at Redditch United. The three competing teams had been locking horns all season and it was all set to culminate in a round-robin tournament at the home of The Reds.
Heading into the event Heart of Birmingham Vocational College held a healthy league at the top of the table, picking up 3 wins from a possible 4. Their only defeat coming at the hands of a resurgent Dudley College who, despite losing their first 2 games, had come back with into contention with a pair of comfortable victories.
Outsiders City of Wolverhampton College still had a chance thanks to their win on the opening day, meaning all 3 sides headed into the tournament knowing that all was still to be played for.
The day started with Heart of Birmingham Vocational College battling City of Wolverhampton College in an enthralling encounter. Games were played over 2 x 15 minute periods meaning there was no time for sluggish performances.
Thankfully, this was the perfect game to kick-start the day with both teams notching goals, but HBVC came out on top with a 3-1 victory. Dudley College then began their charge knowing it was an uphill battle. They dispatched of Wolverhampton, despite the golden outfit battling hard meaning all was to play for in the final fixture.
Nobody could have predicted the passion and drive on display in the final game. Both HBVC and Dudley went tooth and nail and the fixture was a real display of everything a ‘Cup Final’ should be. The game went back and forth and despite chances for both teams ended in a 1-1 draw, crowing Heart of Birmingham Vocational College the inaugural Pan-Disability Education League Champions.
Following the epic event, Disability Football Development Officer, Harley Hetherington, commenced the presentation which would feature all participants receiving a medal.
Chief Executive Kevin Shoemake delivered a speech congratulating all 70 players that had taken part in the league. Following the medals, each College was able to nominate their ‘Player of the Season’ with Alfie, Jake and Jahzeal taking home the plaudits. The ‘Hero’ award was also presented to Usman for his fantastic contributions to his team and the league this season.
The day ended in celebration for Heart of Birmingham Vocational College as they lifted the trophy and they were met with applause all round.
We are looking to growing our competition next season. If your College/Further Education wishes to get involved in the Birmingham County FA Pan-Disability League, please contact Harley.Hetherington@BirminghamFA.com