Cerebral Palsy European Championships
The Ireland Cerebral Palsy side have claimed a bronze medal at the IFCPF European Championships.
Paul Breen’s squad carved out a 2-1 win over tournament hosts the Netherlands this afternoon to clinch third place for just the second time.
Aaron Tier gave Ireland the lead in the 47th minute before captain Gary Messett sealed the win with a second late on. Netherlands rallied and pulled one back in injury time but it was not enough as Ireland secured a well deserved win.
Speaking after the game, Ireland Head Coach Paul Breen was proud of the third place finish.
“We are absolutely delighted. I’m lost for words. Overall I think we deserved it not just for the performance today but across the tournament as a whole,” Breen said.
“We have progressed from a 6th place finish at the World Championships to a third place at the European Championships. It is no more than the players deserve for the work they’ve put in.
“Hopefully this will help raise the profile of CP football and encourage more players to take up the game. The funding from the FAI, Paralympics Ireland and Sport Ireland has been so important and without that then none of this would have been possible. We have put so much into this from youth and development level with the great work being done by Aidan Brennan, Ricky Tracey and Mick Boyle.
“I’d also like to pay tribute to the backroom staff here – Rob Sweeney, Graham Byas, Oisin Jordan, Fred Wenham, Paul Cassin and Bobby Moore. Without their expertise and tireless input this would not have been achievable.
Ireland: Mark Barry (GK), Luke Evans, Aaron Tier, Oisin Merritt, Gary Messett ©, Dillon Sheridan, Darragh Snell
Substitutes: Darragh Byrne, James Naughton, Ryan Nolan, Peter Cotter, Sam Carroll, Darragh Ruane
Netherlands: George van Altena (GK), Jeroen Schuitert, Tom van Reusel, Daan Dikken ©, Rik Rodenburg, Joey Mense, Minne de Vos
Substitutes: Stefan Boersma, Roy Flier, Harm Panneman, Martijn Loeffen, Gerard Bambacht, Jeroen Saedt, Jochem Kintz
Referee: C. Dias
Ireland’s Cerebral Palsy team is co-funded by the FAI, Paralympics Ireland and Sport Ireland.