During the first week of April Wales competed in the Learning Disability Home Nations U19’s Championships in Kilwinning, Scotland. The squad was assembled with players from various backgrounds some of which have been involved in the programme for a number of years and others who were identified through the national trials held in early February.
After losing the first game to the Republic of Ireland, Wales played eventual champions Scotland in the second game securing a 2-2 draw with both goals coming from two excellent finishes in the first half from Luke Swain. Scotland started the second half quickly scoring 2 goals within 5 minutes of the re-start. The Welsh team can take satisfaction from being the only team to take points off the tournament winners. The third and final game of the tournament was another eventful 2-2 draw with Northern Ireland. The Welsh goals coming from Ryan Wright and Luke Swain.
Mike Parry, Wales LD Head Coach said “I was immensely proud of the boys achievements during the week. After losing the first game the togetherness shown by the squad was great to see. Due to the nature of LD football, there is a big ability gulf between the players within the squad, some players playing to a very high standard and others with limited 11 v 11 experience. Every player showed their worth throughout the week doing their part for the team both on and off the pitch. The pride and passion of representing Wales was there for all to see”
We would like to wish the best to Team Captain Dan Thomas, Vice Captains Luke Swain and Elliot Matthews along with Hendrix Dos Santos, Ryan Wright, Peter Donelly, Jack Pyer, Michael Leon and Luke Armstrong in their footballing futures having played in their final U19’s LD Home Nations Championship.