Chelsea Community FC go continental

Chelsea Community FC, the official pan-disability football club of Chelsea FC, enjoyed a week to remember last month as they took part in the Football is More event across Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstein.

Featuring 12 teams, including representatives from Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Southampton and Benfica, the event from 25 to 29 June saw the Chelsea representatives play matches at four venues across the host nations.

The competition was part of a larger Special Adventure Camp which was specifically tailored to the needs of the players in attendance, while also allowing the coaches and educators to exchange knowledge and training methods.

Chelsea Community FC consisted of eight players aged 16-28 with the squad performing admirably both on and off the pitch, receiving praise from the organisers and other coaches. They reached one final, narrowly losing to Portuguese side Benfica.

Disability inclusion officer Rob Seale said: 'The trip has proved to be a massive success and the experience has undoubtedly changed the lives of the young people in our team.

'All staff and players represented Chelsea FC and the Chelsea Foundation in such a professional and impeccable manner.'

Inclusion project coach Andy Rose, who led a team of four coaches on the trip, added: 'I feel honoured to have been able to go on this trip and see these young people grow in confidence and not only develop as players but also as independent, confident and polite young men.

'From the first day we arrived the guys had smiles on their faces that will take a very long time to disappear. Some of our players achieved things that they never thought possible.

'We had one young player who is very shy however because of the confidence this trip gave him he was able to perform football skills on a stage in front of 200 plus people, achievements like this will stay with them forever.'