Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled
Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled

Good practice for LD football squad in local tournament

The Jersey LD football squad

May 2023


A squad of eleven players from the Jersey Learning Disability football team recently took part in the 6 a-side charity ‘Jersey 2 Africa 4 football’ tournament, which consisted mostly of corporate or business teams, with many Island or league players included in the various teams.


Fourteen teams took part and they were divided into two groups of seven for the first round-robin games of 10 minutes each. Despite only winning one of the group games, all the players gave it their all and many games were close affairs. In fact, the biggest match loss (3-0) was to the eventual winners of the tournament.


The knockout game was also a close match but tired legs resulted with the Jersey LD team losing 2-0, and finishing twelfth in the tournament.


In the absence of the head coach, Shane Crocker and Seb Leonard took over as player coaches for the day and they both found this challenging but a great learning experience, picking up on a number of points which can be worked on in the weekly training sessions.


Shane and Seb agreed that Lewis Nowell (left) was the player of the tournament for the LD team.


Everyone enjoyed the competition which was played in great spirit, friendship and respect from all players and teams.



It certainly was a good experience and warmup for their coming participation in tournaments in Pontefract and Bradford at the end of July and September respectively.




11-a-side tournament debut for LD football squad

Pontefract Colliery FC Pontefract Colliery FC

 Our LD football team have been entered into a prestigious event in Pontefract this coming summer, the first time ever they will have competed in an 11-a-side event.


Coach Mark Jones is thrilled at the prospect. "This is the second time this tournament has been held and we are taking a group of 18 over, including 14 players. This is the first time we have taken part in an 11-a-side tournament so there is a lot to do to prepare for it." It's hoped that this will include arranging numerous friendlies against some local teams at 11 a side to help the players get used to the format.


The 3-day event is the Mencap Home Internationals which takes place between Friday 29th June and Sunday 31st, with all matches being played at Pontefract Collieries FC ground.


The club plays in step 4 of the English football pyramid, and has a capacity of 1,200




Tiring tournament in Wrexham

Jersey LD football squad and coaches in Wrexham

May 2022


A Jersey Learning Disability football squad of thirteen players, which included Ryan ‘Chicken’ Blandin and Bernardo Houiellebecq making their debuts, travelled to Wrexham for a 5-a-side tournament.


24 teams entered from all over the UK, divided into three ability groups of eight teams each. Jersey A played in League 1 whilst Jersey B were placed in League 2 with all teams in each group playing each other in 12-minute games. The top four then played knockout games.


Jersey A League 1 Group:


Jersey 1 - 1 St Annes A

Jersey 3 - 0 Bradford B

Jersey 1 - 1 Autonomy FC

Jersey 1 - 0 Leek Pumas

Jersey 1 - 1 Wrexham C

Jersey 1 - 0 Woodlands B

Jersey 3 - 2 Doncaster C


That final round robin game was the standout game for Jersey A, as they needed to win it to make the next round of knockout games. A nervous Jersey started slowly and were 2 - 0 down after five minutes. Seb Leonard then scored two quick goals to equalize, and after a nail biting final two minutes he score again to complete his hat-trick with the last kick of the game. Seb was duly awarded A team player of the tournament for this performance and for being the top goal scorer.


Having finished fourth in the league, Jersey A faced Wrexham C, who had finished top of the league, in the knockout round. Unfortunately, with injuries picked up during the earlier games, Jersey were unable to keep pace with the fit opposition and were beaten 2 - 0.


Jersey B League 2 Group:


Jersey 2 - 0 Leek Leopards

Jersey 5 - 0 Bradford D

Jersey 4 - 0 Doncaster D

Jersey 5 - 3 Leek Lions

Jersey 4 - 2 Bradford C

Jersey 1 - 1 St Annes B

Jersey 0 - 0 Wrexham D


All the players contributed to some impressive football throughout the group games and Jersey B finished second in League 2, only missing out on topping the league by one goal. In the knockout round Jersey were drawn against Leek Lions, but a tired B team were punished for mistakes and they lost heavily 6 - 1. It was a difficult decision to select the B team player of the tournament but ‘super sub’ George Schiessl received the trophy for his all-round performances.

Seb and George with their "Player of the Tournament" trophies

Although disappointed that both teams didn’t make the finals, the trip was another good experience and everyone looks forward to taking part in this very well run and friendly tournament next year.


Many thanks to Wayne and all at Wrexham Inclusion FC for their great work in again hosting a successful tournament , and below you can see the gift presented to our LD squad and coaches. 





Jersey LD football squad also wants to thank the Sir James Knott Foundation and Unite for their support and also the friends and families of the late Mr M. Weedon and Mr Allenet for their generous donations which helped towards the costs of the trip.

The gift from Wrexham Inclusive FC to the Jersey LD squads

Close games in charity tournament

George Schiessl winning a penalty shoot-out George Schiessl winning a penalty shoot-out

May 2022




After two long years of no competitive matches, the Jersey Learning Disability football squad were very pleased to be invited to a charity tournament against many corporate and business teams.








The event, run by the charity Jersey 2 Africa 4 football, saw 16 teams divided into four groups for round-robin games of 20 minutes. This was then followed by a second round of knockout and playoff matches of 15 minutes each against teams that had finished in the same position in the other groups.


1st Round-Robin Games:

Jersey 1 – 2 Aztec

Jersey 2 – 3 TMF

Jersey 4 – 2 Standard Bank


Jersey finished in third place.


3rd-placed Group Play-offs:

Jersey 0 – 1 Sanne

Jersey 1 – 1 Suntera (Jersey win on pens)


That last game saw George Schiessl score the winning penalty.


The organizers also added some fun to the day by including a crossbar challenge and a shooting skills challenge, which was won by the Jersey LD team.


Importantly, everyone enjoyed the competition, which provided the Jersey LD players with a good experience and warm-up for their coming participation in a tournament in Wrexham at the end of May.


Jersey 2 Africa 4 football is a charity which started in 2012 with the aim of providing kit, boots and coaching to young players in slum areas of Nairobi, and also to use football to provide enjoyment, teach teamwork and life skills to help those involved to become better young men and woman as they mature to adulthood. The charity has raised thousands of pounds over the years and shipped tons of donated kits, shoes and boots to Africa and has helped train coaches as well as being involved with other community projects





LD football supports "MIND"

The LD football and MIND squads at Springfield The LD football and MIND squads at Springfield

12th October 2021


Players from the LD football squad joined a few players from MIND, a Jersey charity that provides support to people living with mental illness, on World Mental Health Day, 10th October.


MIND, in conjunction with the Jersey Football Association, arranged an open day at Springfield football stadium to promote the benefits that football can provide for the well-being of Islanders. A few of the LD football players have benefited from MIND’S weekly football sessions and a number of the squad took part in a one hour session of six-a-side.


The two teams were a mix of players from both MIND and LD football and a fast- paced game was played in good spirit. The score was very close and everyone agreed that the result was irrelevant as they had thoroughly enjoyed the runout!


MIND provide other physical activities and their staff were available to meet and greet, and discuss how people can be involved with their other initiatives in sport.

Action from LD Football Squad v MIND Action from LD Football Squad v MIND
More action from the same match...... More action from the same match......

Shane and Seb qualify as referees

Seb Leonard and Shane Crocker (fourth and fifth from left) with the other participants

29th June 2021

Shane Crocker and Seb Leonard have both completed the FA referee course at Jersey’s Springfield stadium to qualify as referees.

The course started several months ago with monthly Zoom calls hosted by the JFA’s Brian Oliver, and covered many aspects including the laws of the game, terminology, welfare of players and dealing with spectators. There was also a requirement to successfully complete a number of online assessments. 

The final part of the course saw the pair attend three sessions at Springfield Stadium over one weekend which was also attended by retired professional referee Trevor Massey. His presence benefitted the group with his extensive knowledge and experience.

The first three-hour evening session was a useful refresher and also covered the more obscure rules and how to deal with different match scenarios.

A full day second session continued with more match scenarios and also drills on the pitch, including referee hand signals, use of the whistle, how to correctly do the famous ‘coin toss’, assistant referee flag signals and how to 'crab' run whilst looking at play. (This apparently was more difficult than you think at a fast pace).

On the final day Shane and Seb had to put into practice all that they had learnt and referee a couple of short games, and also ‘run the line’ as an assistant, whilst being assessed. They both found this harder than expected and were surprised at the level of concentration required.

Shane and Seb said they both enjoyed the course and are looking forward to sharing their new knowledge with the rest of the LD squad; they certainly now have more respect for this challenging role! Well done to them both.




Ciaran's cycle challenge triumph!

Despite having to deal with extreme weather conditions, Ciaran Hocking completed his remarkable Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle challenge, covering an extraordinary total of 874 miles, and raising over £1300 for the coffers of LD football.


Originally intending to start back in April, Ciaran had to patiently wait until the easing of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, and eventually set off on his epic jpourney on August 18th.  He initially followed the famous ‘Trafalgar Way’ route before heading north just after Exeter, travelling through Somerset and Gloucestershire.

A soaked and storm-swept Ciaran! A soaked and storm-swept Ciaran!

Despite being fit, Ciaran found parts of the route difficult with very steep inclines and of course he has also had to cycle through extremely difficult conditions and along many flooded roads because of severe weather brought in by storm Ellen, which battered parts of Scotland.


“The last few days in Scotland were mentally tough,” said Ciaran, “but the scenery was fantastic!”





What an outstanding effort, and what a fabulous feel-good story after what has been, and sadly continues to be, a very difficult year for Disability Sport in Jersey.





Ciaran and Zoltan raise huge funds

Ciaran Hocking and Zoltan Zsilinszky both turned pandemic cancellation disappointments into massive fund raising for LD football. 

Ciaran Hocking with the LD Football squad


Ciaran had planned to cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End in April but with the current pandemic this was cancelled and he is hoping now to undertake the challenge in August.


With the support of some of his work colleagues and friends he has still managed to raise the incredible sum of £851 and, being a keen footballer himself, has kindly donated this to the LD football team. 

Zolton (left) with LD Footy secretary Mark Jones

Zoltan is a personal trainer at The Mayfair Hotel and with the support of the hotel entered the Elite Muay Thai V1 competition, planned for March 2020, but unfortunately this too got cancelled.


Knowing quite a few of the football squad players, Zoltan decided to use the build up to the event to promote a raffle, which included prizes donated by himself and the hotel. In all, he raised the magnificent sum of £665.


Well done chaps – fantastic effort!







Coaching success for Shane and Seb

Seb Leonard and Shane Crocker with Brian Oliver

Shane Crocker and Seb Leonard have both passed the Level 1 certificate in football coaching, provided the the J.F.A. at Springfield Stadium.


The two long-standing players of the LD football squad both thoroughly enjoyed the challenging course, as it gave them an insight into another side of football and covered a variety of other subjects such as club administration, emergency aid, child protection and best practice.


Shane joined the football squad as a young man fourteen years ago and has become a very respected player, captaining the first-team in all competitions both in Jersey and in the U.K. In 2013, he led the Jersey team, representing the Southern Regions, to a gold medal in the U.K. Special Olympics in Bath.


Shane was nervous starting the course, but characteristically he was determined to do his best. "I really enjoyed the practicals," he said, "because they show us how to plan drills and put them into action which will definitely help the squad at training sessions."


Seb Leonard is an ardent Celtic supporter, and has been playing with the Jersey squad for eight years - he marshals the first-team's midfield where his work rate is boundless.


Ever-passionate Seb has wanted to get into coaching for some time and says: "I hope to develop even more from the course in future and become a top coach in years to come, teaching players young and old about the beautiful game."


Both footballers thought the course was brilliantly run by Brian, Dan and Paul and would like to thank the guys for their time and effort.





Silver for Jersey A squad in Yorkshire scorcher!

Jersey A squad just missed out on Gold Jersey A squad just missed out on Gold

Eighteen players of the Jersey Learning Disability squad took part, for the first time, in a five-a-side tournament in Doncaster, using the training facilities of Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat stadium. Over forty teams took part, many of which Jersey had not come across before, and the heat wave over South Yorkshire saw temperatures hit 33C, which added to the challenge for the Jersey teams.


Jersey fielded three teams of six players and in the morning they each played two assessment games of twelve minutes each, the results of which saw the three teams being promoted to higher leagues for the afternoon’s competition.


Jersey A 5 - 0 CDT Red

Jersey A 2 - 1 Brunsmeer

Jersey A 3 - 0 Bradford DFC

Jersey A 1 - 0 Lincoln DFC

Jersey A 1 - 3 Wrexham


After winning the first four matches, Jersey A went into the final game, against a strong Wrexham team, who had lost one game very narrowly, dead on their feet in the draining heat.


After both teams had come close to scoring, Wrexham broke the deadlock and shortly afterwards scored a second goal from a set piece. Seb Leonard pulled one back for Jersey and as they pressed forward in the last few minutes to try and snatch a draw, Wrexham scored a third.


With Jersey and Wrexham on the same points tally, it was Wrexham’s better goal difference that saw them take top position and Jersey had to settle for well-deserved silver medals. Malcolm Motie, who played every minute of each game, received the A team‘s best player award for his ‘solid as a rock’ defending.



Jersey B 2 - 3 Wrexham B

Jersey B 0 - 1 Ruston

Jersey B 1 - 2 South Tyneside

Jersey B 2 - 2 Skem Men B


Jersey B were placed in a very strong league and, despite narrowly losing three games and drawing one, every player gave their all, enjoyed the matches and felt that they had learnt much from the competitive games. The B team coach, Alex Reid, awarded the best B player award to Alex Hilton for his leadership, positivity and work rate.



Jersey C 1 - 3 CDT Black

Jersey C 2 - 4 CDT Blue

Jersey C 3 - 4 Carlisle B


In the two grading games, Jersey C scored ten without reply, with Ryan Jones and Simon Routier both scoring four and Olly Wellum a brace. These performances saw them promoted two leagues which may have been one too many as they lost their three afternoon league games.


Despite the results, there were some outstanding performances from George Schiessl, making his debut trip, and Olly Wellum who scored a hat trick in the final game. However, the best C team player was awarded to Warwick Millar for his overall contribution.


The Jersey squad gace their heartfealt thanks to the Jersey Football Association and Unite for their support, which meant that the teams not only looked the part in their new kits, but also helped improve their football through the use of Springfield Stadium.





Mixed emotions in Wrexham

Jersey LD Football team and coaches Jersey LD Football team and coaches


The very well-run Wrexham Inclusion FC tournament was played on the 4G surface at the New Saints football club, home of the Welsh premier league champions. The 24 teams taking part were divided into three leagues of eight teams in each and Jersey was placed in league 1, the second ability level. The top four went through to the knock out stage.


Full round-robin league games results :-


Jersey 2 - 0 Leek B

Jersey 0 - 0 St. Christophers

Jersey 2 - 0 Woodlands

Jersey 4 - 1 Wrexham B

Jersey 3 - 0 Autnomy

Jersey 0 - 0 City Knights

Jersey 1 - 0 Doncaster B


All of the seven games were competitive and the Jersey players defended well, closed the opposing team down and took their goal scoring opportunities. This resulted with Jersey topping their league having won five and drawn two games, scoring twelve goals and conceding only one.


In the knock out round, Jersey were drawn against Wrexham B.  A few nerves showed at the beginning of the game but Jersey soon gained their composure and took control of the game. Despite having the majority of possession, Jersey were unable to take their few opportunities against a very defensive Wrexham team and the game ended goalless. A best of three penalty shoot-out followed and unfortunately Jersey were beaten 2 - 1.

The hosts went out of their way to make Jersey feel welcome and some of their club members and coaches organized an enjoyable fun day of football golf the day before the tournament. With their knowledge of the course, the Wrexham players had the lowest score cards but the Jersey players didn’t disgrace themselves after the two rounds of 9 holes, which is more than can be said of their coaches!

The squad would like to thank the Jersey Football Association, Sir James Knott Trust and Unite for their support.


New Saints Football Club
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