Peterborough United’s Under-21 deaf futsal team won bronze at the European Deaf Champions League event in Warsaw last week to become the first English side to win a medal at the tournament.
Posh overcame Torino and Bruxelles in the groups stages and then, in a pulsating quarter-final, beat the favourites and last year’s champions Real E Non Solo from Italy on penalties. Posh narrowly succumbed to Hamburg 5-4 in the semi.
The bronze medal was clinched on the final day of the tournament with another win over Torino in the third-place play-off. In this game, Lewis Byton pulled off a succession of reaction saves and Byron Down scored twice. But Posh gave up their two-goal lead in the second-half and after a frantic battle, with less than two minutes left on the clock, Will Palmer scored the winner to secure the medal.
Both Byron Down and Will Palmer finished in the tournament’s top-five scorer list with nine and six goals respectively. Rylan Casey was also named in the top-five players of the tournament.
Andrew Palmer, Chairman of the Peterborough United Foundation and founder of the deaf football project said: “I’ve never been so wracked with nerves in my entire life. I could barely watch the last game, but the team showed their mettle, left everything on the pitch and got what they deserved from it. I’m proud of the team for not just getting that far against the best on the continent, especially as Futsal is much more established as a sport there, but for the quality of the performances and the effort they put in.”
Peterborough United’s deaf football project was set up in 2013 and since then has won five national youth titles, a national under-21 title and finished runners-up in the 11-a-side South League last season. If any youth players are interested in joining weekly training sessions email firstname.lastname@example.org