Today we are speaking to Paul Jubb.
SYACL: Paul, you’ve recently stepped down from your role as a senior coach at Bradford City Community Foundation. Please tell us about your history in football and with the Bantams?
PJ: Like most kids I always wanted to be a professional footballer and I spent most of my childhood playing football at Bradford Moor Park. At 16 my mates and I decided to join the local floodlit league and I ended up being the player/coach/manager for the team!
I was a builder but always played football at the weekends, just for local pub teams but always enjoyed the friendships that football brings.
I retired from playing due to injury and having kids of my own, I took my son Adam to the local junior team Wyke Wanderers and volunteered to help coach one of the under 7’s teams.
Then after losing my building job because of the recession/shortage of work I saw an advertisement in the local jobcentre for a community football coach at Bradford City [we were in the Premiership at the time].
Luckily Ian ‘sticks’ Ormondroyd an ex-City player & legend, decided to give me the job.
SYACL: Looking back on your career with the Foundation, what are your favourite memories and what have been your proudest moments?
PJ: Obviously, my work in disability football, although I like to think I’ve made a lot of mainstream kids happy when I coached them too. I have always tried to make my sessions fun and enjoyable and I like to make sure that everyone gets a fair chance to play whatever their ability or disability.
I used to get kids calling me ‘small/tall Paul’ and I’ll always be known for getting the kids singing “who let the dogs out” when we were warming up to play.
I used to do lunch time clubs and after school clubs at Primary Schools; I think I must have worked in every school in Bradford. We also did penalty shootouts with Billy Bantam & soccer camps in the school holidays!
I have done projects for ex-war veterans and various gents clubs, taking them out for day trips and giving them something to look forward to.
I’ve coached mental health players at Mind and even got them into the West Riding disability league and they got to play on the pitch at Valley Parade at half-time.
I like to think I’ve made a difference to a lot of different peoples’ lives for the better and there’s no better feeling than that!
Winning the BBC’s Unsung Hero for Yorkshire in 2015 and appearing on Sports Personality of the Year were my proudest moments by far.
The previous year I won Unsung Hero at Bradford City AFC player of the year awards, among various other awards.
SYACL: Tell us a little about Bradford City’s Disability teams and how you became involved with them?
PJ: I was asked by Ian Ormondroyd if I would be interested in coaching at Bradford Disability Football club on a Sunday morning. I’d already started coaching in disability schools across Bradford and thought it would be good to volunteer for them. I was made head coach and did some amazing things with the club.
We went to Hamm in Germany most years and we even played the German National disability team in front of 3,000 school kids. Ok, so we lost 22-0 but the smiles on our players faces when they received their medals, you would have thought we had won 22-0!
We played in the Special Olympics at Leicester representing Yorkshire and Humberside where we won silver and bronze medals and I won the Managers fair play award.
We reached the finals of the 1st ever FA People’s Cup in Manchester and we won lots of League titles in the West Riding Ability Counts Leagues.
We took the juniors all over the country; we played Liverpool, Chelsea Man Utd disability team’s and played regularly on the pitch at Valley Parade. The players loved it; it was as exciting as Wembley to them
I spent 16 years with them and we did so many amazing things, but I always wanted to do more……
So, I set up Bradford City Disability FC in 2017, with the help of Jaimie Dorward and our group of volunteers. I have always loved being part of the Bantams family as it is called.
The players love to wear the same kit as their hero’s at Bradford City, even players who are not City fans wear it and have a soft spot for the club.
We have grown so fast in such a short space of time. We have 7 adult teams including 2 women’s only teams; an Under 16 team and 3 under 12’s teams. We even have an 11-a-side deaf team now in the National Deaf League.
Our ladies’ team have reached the FA Peoples Cup Final twice.
Our Under 16’s made the semi-finals twice too.
We take teams to Rigtersbleek in Holland every year and play in various tournaments throughout the country.
We won the Under 16’s Chelsea AFC tournament & the adults played on the pitch at Stamford bridge!
Our Claret team won the treble last season in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League.
The Diamond’s won the 5-a-side Championship the season before and the Blue’s won the 7-a-side League.
The list is long and will go on, I’m sure.
Someone once said to me disability football is your life because you haven’t got a life!
But being part of disability football is the best life anyone could wish for!
SYACL: As an experienced and respected coach, what do you think are the most important factors in coaching disability footballers?
PJ: The other week I had a call from a team in Cameroon, they wanted to send a couple of young coaches to learn how to coach disabled footballers. I was obviously flattered that they asked me, but I told them there’s nothing special about coaching disabled footballers.
Yes, you have to have a lot of patience and compassion for your players but, every player disabled or not has different needs.
Every football team in the world is the same, all the players have different abilities and qualities, even professional teams are mixed ability.
The FA teach us to assess the needs of each individual and allow for that in the sessions. For example, the higher ability players will shoot from further away or with their weaker foot; and lower ability players might need to shoot closer or with no goalkeeper. Any good coach will naturally do this. The main thing is that the players enjoy themselves and want to come back the week after.
SYACL: You’ve achieved so much in the game. Do you have any more targets in your mind?
PJ: I am always wanting to start new projects.
I would like to start a junior deaf team or a Down Syndrome only team and maybe walking football teams.
I can’t wait until life gets back to normal and we can take our players on trips and tournaments again and go back to Holland.
We can restart our social events, presentation nights, Halloween, Birthday & Christmas parties etc.
Watching Bradford City home and away as a group.
Like I said, “disability football is my life and I miss it”.
SYACL: What would you say to anyone thinking about getting involved with the SYACL?
PJ: We entered the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League 3 years ago; it’s run by Mike Stylianou & Darren Warner and all the teams have been great with us!
We have made lots of friends and always look forward to the League games and Cup competitions. We have won a few Leagues and Cups, but we have also lost a few finals and come bottom of a few too!!
The League is well organised, all the players have to prove their disability; the teams play at their own levels and use the right facilities for the appropriate teams.
The higher levels play 7-a-side on bigger open pitches, while the lower levels play at Goals Soccer Centre’s pitches. Because the pitches are enclosed this ensures that the ball stays in play most, if not all of the time, giving the players a chance to get plenty of touches.
I would definitely recommend it, as I said before Mike and Darren are great people, all the teams are friendly and the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League has football for every level of disability football.
Anyone interested in being part of our amazing club check out our Website/Facebook page.