The FA has announced the appointments of Andrew Smith as the Head Coach of the England Deaf Men’s football team and Paul Harrison as the Head Coach of the England Deaf Women’s football team.
Both bring a wealth of experience from the professional game and in creating performance environments within Para Football and are currently working to appoint support staff to work with each team. Andy starts his work with the Men’s team this Saturday [14 December 2019] with the latest Deaf Men’s trials at St George’s Park, the home of the 27 England teams. Paul will join the Women’s team at the February camp.
Following consultation with UK Deaf Sports and GB Deaf Football, in 2019 The FA’s Disability Football Committee made the decision to refocus its funding over the next two seasons to help develop the national 11-a-side format. This follows an increased commitment to deaf football to formalise the 11-a-side competition pathway, ensuring there are three major competitions – World Championships, European Championships and the Deaflympics – in every four-year cycle.
Jeff Davis, The FA’s Para Football Performance Manager, said: “We are delighted to bring both Andrew and Paul on board for what is a new era in the national deaf football 11-a-side format. Both have great experience and it’s an exciting time for England Deaf Football as we look towards the 2020 Deaf World Football Championships in South Korea next September.”