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Harry Smith on Juniors Return

‘The physical and mental toughness these young athletes show really is a testament to their determination,’ says Junior coach Harry Smith.

Junior head coach Harry Smith believes that the opportunity for a record number of sessions is outstanding and will have a positive impact on the future of amputee football.

Harry Smith coaching the juniors.

He said: “To have more camps than we’ve ever had this year has been fantastic for all the players and provided them with a great opportunity to develop within the sport.

“We see players gain huge confidence socially, and being around similar individuals to themselves gives them that sense of belonging and relatedness.”

The camps at Reaseheath College provide opportunities for boys and girls aged two to 16 to play amputee football and Smith relishes his role in coaching the next generation.

Juniors enjoying camp at Reaseheath College.

“The best part of this job is seeing the enjoyment from all juniors involved in the camps, whether they are three years old and playing for the first time, or 16 working towards a national team place,” he said.

“Watching individuals develop when they first come into the sport and go on a journey from meeting new friends, increased confidence, going away to other countries or representing their club teams back home.

“Knowing you have played a part in that journey is one of the most impactful and enjoyable things for me.

“No one junior is the same, they all come with their different story and personality.

“The physical and mental toughness these young athletes show really is a testament to their determination to overcome barriers.”

Players from the national team can also be seen giving their advice at the junior camps, with the likes of Everton players, Sean Jackson and Jamie Oakey helping the youngsters, amongst many others.

Jackson (left), Oakey (right) give their knowledge to the youngsters.

Smith said: “It’s been great having some of the national team down at sessions giving support and coaching to our juniors and showing them the journey they could be going on if they carry on with the sport.

“I think it’s great creating that connection between the senior players and juniors.

“For our juniors to know who is in the national team and for them to be role models and inspire the younger generation to go on and achieve their goals one day.”


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