Lyndon Lynch’s Cerebral Palsy side claim gold at the Arafura Games.
Australia 0-2 England Arafura Games 2009 Cerebral Palsy seven-a-side tournament
The Final 11am, Sunday 17 May 2009 Marrara Stadium, Darwin, Australia
The England Cerebral Palsy team beat Australia 2-0 in the Marrara Stadium to win the gold medal match of the Arafura Games, giving them their first competitive tournament win.
Playing five games in six days England displayed supreme fitness and endurance, scoring 27 goals during the tournament and conceding none.
The Three Lions started briskly and created a number of opportunities in the opening moments. Indeed, on four minutes Michael Wilson hammered home an 18-yard free-kick to give England the lead. Lyndon Lynch’s side then grew in confidence but the Australians defended resolutely and blocked many efforts on goal. The visitors were made to wait until the second minute of time added on to double their advantage. Matt Ellis played Richard Fox through on goal and the latter struck a firm shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
The second half was not as eventful as the first as the weather conditions began to take their toll. Playing in 35C heat affected the hosts more than the English players and Ellis and Michael Barker were at the heart of every England attack. In fact it wasn’t until the 54th minute that Australia had their first shot on goal.
The final whistle was met with jubilant celebrations among the English contingent and Lynch later spoke of his joy.
Speaking to TheFA.com, Head Coach Lyndon Lynch commented: “I am immensely proud of the achievements of this group of players who have once again demonstrated the depth of talent in English disability football.
“Each squad member made an important contribution to winning this trophy, which acts as a stepping stone to what we hope will be a successful European and World Championship campaigns. I must highlight the significant contribution of all the staff that is a vital element of any winning team.”
Jeff Davis, The FA National Development Manager for Disability Football, echoed Lynch’s sentiments.
“This team demonstrates a key goal of The FA Strategy of winning England Teams,” he said.
“I am delighted that Lyndon was able to give five new caps and is a vindication that the talent identification programme is working. I would like to thank all the players and staff and for those involved with the development of disability football at a local level and in the England CP development squad. This is only the start but I am really looking forward to the future championships.”
Jordan Raynes, Karl Townshend, Michael Wilson, Matt Dimbylow, Matt Ellis, Michael Barker, Richard Fox (Dean Cartwright 30)