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Scottish football fans asked to fund Amputee National team’s first ever home international match

Date: 25th September 2017

Scottish football fans are being asked to help fund Scotland’s newly formed national amputee football team as it makes its international debut on home soil. Scotland Amputees will face The Netherlands on 28 October, for what will be the side’s first ever home international game.

Scotland’s national amputee football charity, AFAS, was set up in November 2016 to develop the sport in Scotland. While amputee football is already popular in England and across the world, until recently it did not exist north of the Border.

Now the charity has teamed up with national fans’ body Supporters Direct Scotland in a bid to crowdfund the costs associated with hosting the international tournament – from venue hire, player accommodation, officials’ fees and travel costs to family entertainment and strips.  Funds raised during this campaign will also go towards the charity’s newly launched #LegOffGameOn Amputee Football Roadshow, a nationwide development programme aimed at delivering amputee football taster sessions at clubs across Scotland to encourage uptake in the discipline.

AFAS launched amputee football as a pilot project in partnership with Partick Thistle Community Trust in Glasgow in summer 2016. The game proved hugely popular, attracting enormous media attention and public empathy and a full senior and junior squad now enjoy training at Firhill. The aim is to create Scotland’s own amputee football league.

The charity enjoys the backing of its ambassador Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill MBE who visited Partick Thistle Amputees as guest coach last year and has supported the growth of the sport in Scotland.  Dundee United manager Ray McKinnon and Jags boss Alan Archibald have also championed the cause in recent months.

This month, the charity announced it will launch a rival team in the east with partners Dundee United Community Trust, following a well-attended taster session at Tannadice earlier in the summer. An East Vs West clash is to be scheduled for the Autumn and a tug of war over player signings has already ensued.

The national Scotland team made its European debut against The Netherlands in June 2017 where the team suffered a narrow defeat. However after a summer of intense training, AFAS has invited its Dutch rivals to Scotland in October for the second leg and is confident the team will clinch a win following a raft of new players coming forward. But as a new charity, AFAS lacks the funds to host such a tournament.

Through Supporters Direct’s new crowdfunding platform and the Scottish Supporters Network, fans are being encouraged to contribute what they can to support the new national team.

Ashley Reid, founder of Amputee Football Association Scotland, said:

“With Amputee football being a relatively new discipline in Scotland, the rapid growth in the number of players in such a short time is a testament to the demand that exists for the sport.

“We’re calling on Scotland’s big hearted football fans to help fund what will be a landmark event for the sport and a dream come true for our players who will get to represent their country on home soil.”

Andrew Jenkin, Head of SD Scotland, said:

“What we’re hoping to do through this campaign and others like it in the future is demonstrate the goodwill that exists within the Scottish football fan base. So much positive activity happens club to club week in, week out that goes unreported. We hope through initiatives such as this, we can highlight the positives of Scottish football and unite fans around what is an exciting time.”

Fans can contribute to the campaign by visiting http://bit.ly/2j3sED1

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