During August, teams from across Europe came to stay at the School in order to take part in the inaugural European Powerchair Football Association (EPFA) Development tournament.
Austria, Germany, a youth team from Ireland and Kent’s own Sevenoaks PFC took part in the event. David Cornell, Levi Trower and Jake Graham played for the Sevenoaks team. Myles Miller also attended, supporting EPFA with administration during the competition.
This new tournament had been designed to provide inexperienced European nations with involvement in foreign competition as well as provide training and education on coaching, refereeing and classification. Initially scheduled to be held in Spain, circumstances meant the event had to be postponed and a new location was required.
Using Adam McEvoy’s Powerchair Football experience the School were extremely willing to host the event. Valence provided accommodation, hospitality and transportation to all the visiting teams, after much hard work and planning by the Sports Department and Domestic team! The teams arrived to take up residence in the Home Living Areas and each had an opportunity to rest, train and finalise their tactical plans for the following days’ matches.
The competition took place at Sevenoaks School.
Hosts Sevenoaks PFC, representing England, opened the event against Germany. Sevenoaks showed their experience against the new nation and finished 8-0 victors.
The young Irish team defended resolutely against a bold Austria team in a 0-0 draw.
The first afternoon fixture brought Sevenoaks and the eager Austrian team together. A cagey start from both teams was broken by Sevenoaks, who had a clinical edge over their rivals. Taking their chances and defending well they finished with a 4-0 win, damaging the Austrians hopes of a top 2 finish and guaranteeing Sevenoaks a place in the final the following day.
Ireland followed up their goalless draw with another clean sheet, this time with a 7-0 victory, placing them on equal points with Austria.
In the penultimate game, Ireland and Sevenoaks played a highly competitive match. Ireland took the lead before Sevenoaks pegged them back. Ireland scored a second midway through the second half, with Sevenoaks failing to fashion any real chances to equalise, condemning the home team to a 2-1 loss.
Austria had a comprehensive 12-0 victory over Germany in the final group game.
The penultimate game of the competition saw Germany and Austria play in the 3rd/4th place play-off. Keen to finish on a high, Austria dominated their inexperienced neighbours and cruised to an 8-0 victory.
The final was an Anglo-Irish affair, with the hosts keen to avenge their defeat 24 hours earlier. Another close contest ensued with Sevenoaks taking a 1-0 lead into the half time break. Ireland did not back down and equalised midway through the second half. The game appeared to be heading to a penalty shootout, before a set piece routine with three minutes to go saw Sevenoaks score to take a 2-1 lead. Ireland piled on the pressure in an attempt to equalise and came close to doing so, however the Sevenoaks defence held firm to claim the title of EPFA Development Event Champions 2016!
The event was fortunate to feature a special guest, FA Vice-Chairman Barry Bright presented Sevenoaks PFC with the winner’s trophy before drawing teams for the upcoming EPFA Champions Cup, taking place in Denmark in October.
We want to congratulate Levi, Jake and David on representing Valence School so well and for their success in winning the tournament! Everyone at Valence is incredibly proud of your efforts!
We must also thank the Valence School staff who helped throughout the week, their support was invaluable!
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