Writes: Elliot Burrow
A trip to Warsaw awaits the EAFA Junior set-up this week, with one of its players particularly excited at the chance to play in the Polish capital.
At just six months old, Issac was diagnosed with polio which destroyed all of the nerves in his left leg, leaving him with limited movement and not being able to put any weight on it.
Despite this, it has never stopped him from playing the sport he loves, and now he’s got the chance to represent his national side at the highest level and follow in the footsteps of his favourite player and current England international Rhyce Ramsden.
Issac attended his first EAFA camp in July 2018 after Owen Coyle Jnr was impressed with the way he played in a disability tournament for Middlesborough, and has never looked back since.
“I have made lots of new special friends here in my time at the EAFA and I really enjoy playing football with them,” Issac said.
“There are so many amazing opportunities like the chance to go to Poland to play football, and I am so proud to be selected to represent EAFA internationally this month and very excited.”
Like any young upcoming sports-star, the support they get from their parents is massive, the long car journeys mixed with the games spent in the pouring rain on the sideline cheering their child on all done with the hope that one day it will be worth it.
For Issac’s parents, it’s no different, and they’ve found their son playing football for the team useful as it's given them a chance to make new friends themselves as well as continuing to watch Issac do the sport he is so passionate about.
Issac’s mum, Anna said: “Football is everything to Isaac and for him to be able to train and play football like he wants to is amazing and we are so grateful for that.
“He attends a mainstream school and we do not know any other children with disabilities so for him to be able to be with other children like him playing football is so important too.
“The friends he’s made at EAFA are some of his best friends without a doubt, and we as parents have made some very special friends as well.
“Being able to have support and others to talk and discuss any issues, and to have people that understand the position that each other are in is so good, and it has helped us so much.”
Togetherness, special and enjoyable are the three words that Issac uses to describe being part of the EAFA, and he has his eyes firmly set on playing for the men’s team in central midfield when he is older.
At the moment though, he’s fully focused on Warsaw and all the action that awaits him and the junior squad over there in Europe.