Exmouth Tigers Disability Counts football team net another promotion

PUBLISHED: 10:26 26 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:33 26 May 2019

Exmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWIN

Exmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWIN

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The Exmouth Tigers Disability 5-a-side Football Club was formed four years ago.

Exmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWINExmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWIN

The Exmouth Tigers Disability 5-a-side Football Club was formed four years ago.

In the beginning their numbers were small; indeed, just four people got the initial idea off the ground.

However, the club has certainly not let the grass grow under its feet and, in the four seasons since its launch, they have enjoyed three lots of promotion!

The Ability Counts League was formed 10 years ago by Devon FA and currently have over 500 players aged 16 plus, all of whom have a wide range of disabilities.

Action from the Disability Counts Football Tournament held at Cullompton Rangers that saw Exmouth Tigers taking part - and doing very well,. Picture EMMA BALDWINAction from the Disability Counts Football Tournament held at Cullompton Rangers that saw Exmouth Tigers taking part - and doing very well,. Picture EMMA BALDWIN

The teams train as individual clubs every week and meet once a month from September through to May contesting tournaments against other clubs.

Currently, the Tigers train at Exmouth Rugby Club on a Saturday morning and now have 15 men and six ladies, all of whom attend Exmouth Gateway Club (a social club for adults with learning disabilities) who the Football Club are part of.

The men's team is managed by Paul Baldwin and captained by Tom O'Callaghan and they ended another fabulous campaign, lifting the Intermediate Two league title on the final day of tournament action, held at Cullompton.

Next season, Tigers are hoping to attract some new players to add to the squad for they are keen to run a second men's team.

Action from the Disability Count football tournament in which Exmouth Togers took part. Picture EMMA BALDWINAction from the Disability Count football tournament in which Exmouth Togers took part. Picture EMMA BALDWIN

Paul Baldwin says: "The squad, which comprises of Tom O'Callaghan, Daniel Edworthy, Tony Hafner, Phillip Peters, David Butler, Brian Richardson, Matt Rackstraw, Jack Hollands, Barrie Sharman, Liam Borrowdale, Bradley Carpenter, Ashley Pritchard, Brendan Mulcahy, Luke Evans and Jamie Dunn, should all be very proud of their performance this season.

"Without doubt, this latest season, has been their best so far. They have come on leaps and bounds in terms of developing their skills, playing some excellent football and working so hard as a team."

The Tigers head coach continued: "We are so grateful to Exmouth Rugby Club for allowing us to train there and also all those who have helped and supported us throughout the season, particularly, manager/coach Steve Letheren, ladies team manger Emma Baldwin and assistant manager Carolyn Letheren as well as all the other volunteers of Exmouth Gateway Club."

As for the ladies team, they were formed as recently as last season and they currently have just six team members.

The Exmouth Tigers Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWINThe Exmouth Tigers Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWIN

Paul Baldwin says: "As relative newcomers to their competition this past season, they have had a tough time, but have clearly developed individually and collectively with their football skills.

"Their clear enjoyment, determination, enthusiasm, and perseverance finally paid off at the final tournament when they won their first ever game."

What's more, the team were awarded the Team Respect trophy for the ladies league.

"Winning the award gave everyone involved a huge boost! It certainly underline that the game is definitely not just about winning, but how you play as a team.

Exmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWINExmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWIN

The ladies squad comprises of Charlotte Keegan, Jodene Knott, Rae Savage, Angela Edworthy, Bex Bell and Roxy Hopkins.

The club are keen to say a huge thank you to a number of their valued sponsors and in particular to Circle of Care Devon Ltd, who provided the team with training tops and the ladies team kit sponsors, Sam and Matt Knighton of the Maltsters Arms, Woodbury.

Exmouth Tigers are always looking for sponsorship for kit and equipment for our players as most of them are unable to fund this themselves, if you would be willing to help then please contact Paul Baldwin on 07866 270213 or visit their website www.exmouthgateway.co.uk.

The club are also keen to recruit new players. Paul says: "The only requirements are that you are aged 16 plus and have a disability. I'd also love to hear from anyone who feels they would like to assist with coaching."

Exmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWINExmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWIN

Exmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWINExmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWIN

Exmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWINExmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWIN

Exmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWINExmouth Tigers the Disability Counts football team. Picture EMMA BALDWIN

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