We have been contacted by disabilitysportyorkshire.org to ask if we can include this information on our website.

DSY are offering a fantastic opportunity to join an Employability Course run by Disability Sport Yorkshire. 

The course will be held at U Sport in Sheffield, starting in September and will run for 20 weeks minimum.


Target group = Young Adults with a Moderate Learning Disability aged 19 – 25  but maybe older if necessary.

For further information access their website: disabilitysportyorkshire.org or contact dawnwood135@live.com

SYACL 5-a-side’s Thrilling Finale at Goals Sheffield

Premiership and Championship titles go down to the wire.

Phew! If you thought that last week’s final 7-a-side matchday wasn’t exciting enough, Sunday saw a fantastic conclusion to the 5-a-side Leagues.

When the final matches in the Premiership and Championship kicked off just after 4 pm, four sides were still involved in the battle for glory; but when all was said and done, Wisewood had clinched the Premiership crown with a win over plucky Bradford City Fuchsia; and in the Championship, Bradford City Emerald lifted the trophy after a nerve-wracking battle with Derek Dooley Blue, with Emerald’s win over Spartans clinching a vital three points, writes our SYACL Website editor Margaret Gregory.

It had been almost 5 months since the 5-a-side teams had been in competitive action, but the guys and girls certainly made up for lost time, with 6 brilliant games in each Division.

As with the 7-a-side match days, the SYACL again took time out to pay tribute to Club Doncaster Titans founder and our League Secretary, the late great Darren Warner. Darren’s wife Sharon, sons Cameron and Jordan, and Cameron’s partner were special guests for the afternoon. The squads and officials heard tributes to Darren from Chairman Mike Stylianou, Referee’s Secretary Sean Wright and City Knights star Mark Boyes; the League also made a small presentation to Sharon.

The inaugural Darren Warner 5-a-side Fair Play award, nominated by Sean and his fellow referees, went – fittingly – to Club Doncaster Titans (Blue) with Sharon presenting the Shield to skipper Cameron Mounde and his team. [below]

The rain stayed away for the final afternoon, with the first four teams arriving at 1pm for temperature checks, hand sanitiser and social distancing in their squad bubbles. Referees Sean and Tim Savage oversaw a lively start to proceedings.

In the Premier League, title-chasing Wisewood DFC got off to the perfect start with wins over Derek Dooley White and Club Doncaster Titans Blue. Dooley coach Claire Cowlishaw summed up that first game for http://www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com.

“The first game against Wisewood saw Dooley Whites come up against a very solid team, seeing the play one end to the other with some super goalkeeping from Shaun. The team were talking to each other and all had shots saved by the Wisewood goalkeeper, a lovely shot saved by Mo, followed by a goal for Wisewood.

“The lads kept going,“ Claire told us. “They showed perseverance against the eventual Division winners.” 

Dooley’s next fixtures saw them win one, then lose one against Club Doncaster Titans (Blue) “The next two games against Doncaster Titan Blue, showed the team spirit with the boys becoming tired as they gave it their all,” Claire reported. “We saw good passing and shots by Kieron, goals for Jordan and Tom in the first game; but in the second game Doncaster come out the winners. The season has been hard for the lads after the Leagues were condensed to two with them playing in a higher division, but they didn’t give up and had the resilience to keep going to the end. WELL DONE!”

Bradford City Fuchsia (below) were delayed in arriving at Goals Sheffield, and in their two games they found themselves up against Wisewood. Bradford’s Paul Jubb set the scene for SYACL.com.

Bradford City Fuchsia

“Fuchsia went into the games knowing they had to win one of the two games against a strong Wisewood DFC,” Paul said. “Unfortunately, our keeper Ksenja was unable to attend. This meant changing the team that had previously won all of their games.”

“The first game ended Bradford DFC 0 – Wisewood 6,” Paul told us. “The ladies struggled to get settled against a Wisewood side that were throwing everything at them.
Wisewood managed to score 3 goals before half time then another 3 in the 2nd half.
Anna made some great saves in goal but Wisewood had some powerful players. They were marking up well which made it hard for us to even get shots on target and pass the ball.”


“In the second game, the result was Bradford DFC 2 – Wisewood 6,” Paul reported. “The second game was just as hard; changing keepers didn’t seem to have much effect.
We began to find our feet more in this game but again Wisewood managed to score goals early on which made it hard for the ladies to come back.
The ladies did start passing the ball better and getting more shots away & Katy managed to score 2 goals but it was not enough to stop Wisewood.”


Paul was delighted by the performance of his side. “The all-ladies team did amazingly well to come second at the end of a strange season, where they played most of their games with only 5 players.”

The results meant that Wisewood clinched the title by four points from Bradford Fuchsia, with Dooley White third and Titans Blue fourth, although for Titans there was a significant consolation in winning the Darren Warner Fair Play title.

Paul was generous in his tribute to Wisewood. “Well done to Wisewood DFC for winning the league title!!” he told us.

Congratulations to Wisewood DFC (below) and all the teams for a tremendous season, with the Final table as follows:

Wisewood dfc
POSTEAMPLDWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Wisewood651061516
2Bradford City Fuchsia640242212
3Derek Dooley White611425-34
4Club Doncaster Titans Blue610515-43

Into The Championship, then, and an even more exciting end to the season. Derek Dooley Blue made a fast start with a win over Spartans, as Dooley Coach Claire explains;

“The first game against Spartans was a tight match which see-sawed to a Dooley win, with shots from Fallon; Ben scored a penalty and Shaq scored, which saw his loud celebration as he ran the length of the pitch!”

Spartans followed up that first game with another battling display against Club Doncaster Titans Yellow. Spartans coach John Hunt summed up the two games.

 “In the early part of the afternoon Spartans narrowly lost their first couple of matches against Dooley Blue and Titans Yellow by the odd goal. They were fortunate that their keeper Jake was in terrific form and prevented their opponents from scoring more goals.”

Derek Dooley Blue were on a title charge, and kept the pressure on with two wins over Titans Yellow.

Derek Dooley Blue

“The next games were against the Doncaster Titans Yellow and were good matches to watch with the players having fun. There were a lot of players running and shooting, a good run by Jordan then a super performance from Fallon with lots of timely defensive duties and each and every player giving 100%, even though some of the players were playing for the first time this year. The team won both games and this saw them at the top of the League.”

By this time, the delayed Bradford City Emerald had arrived at Goals Sheffield. Paul Jubb sets the scene for SYACL.com.

“The Emeralds went into the games knowing they had to win one of their 2 games against Spartans DFC to win the League,” Paul explained. “We had heard that Derek Dooley had beaten Spartans in the first game and started to realise that they were the team we needed to worry about!“

Paul had good reason to be concerned.  “In the first game Spartans showed why they had won the League last season beating us 6-2! Gemma was amazing in goal, saving lots of shots, and Toby and Mark both scored consolation goals! My Assistant Stephen and I were in shock and couldn’t see how we could turn it round!”

The second game would be decisive, with Derek Dooley watching on.  “We had an anxious wait on the last game, a Spartans win would have given us the title and if Bradford won then we would be runners up to Bradford,” Claire from Dooley explained.

“The second game kicked off and Spartans started with a weaker team and we took our better players off to match up, “Paul explained. “Spartans went 1-0 up! Then Toby scored with a cool finish in his first game, playing out. Then Simon scored from distance to make it 2–1 and Toby got his 2nd to make it 3-1.” 
“Spartans got one back to make it 3-2 and then a bit of bad luck for the Spartans keeper made it 4-2 to City Emeralds,” Paul continued. “Mark scored an own goal to make it 4-3; it was a nervy end to the game and we were so happy to hear the final whistle, as one more goal from Spartans would have meant 2nd place! Gemma Fletcher was Player of the Day, making numerous saves in both games.”

“We are Championees, Championees for 2021, “ Paul was delighted to tell us, adding “Well done to Derek Dooley for pushing all the way to the final game!”

Spartans John Hunt summed up the two games with Bradford. “We were involved in back-to-back matches against Bradford Emerald. In the first match goals from Matt, Sam, Jacob and Paul secured a comfortable win for the Spartans.”


“However, the second match was very different,” John went on.  “Bradford Emerald held a comfortable 3 goal advantage in the second half and despite a late rally and 2 goals by Oliver, the Bradford defence held out for a deserved win.”

Dooley’s Claire was proud of her Dooley team, summing them up, “the team were ecstatic to receive a medal for second,” she beamed.

After a stunning final day, the Championship table finished as follows, with Bradford Emerald (pictured below) taking the title. 

Bradford Emerald
POSTEAMPLDWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Bradford City Emerald641152313
2Derek Dooley Blue640242212
3Club Doncaster Titans Yellow621334-17
4Spartans FC610515-43

So, the strangest SYACL season ever finished on a high; congratulations to all the winners and runners up, and to our amazing Committee – Mike, Paul and Sean – for keeping the action going in a safe environment for all our players and coaches.

We also take the time to think about the loved ones we have lost over the last months, including our own wonderful Darren Warner. The League sends our love to Sharon and her family.

Hopefully, next time we meet up, we’ll be able to welcome spectators back to our matches. In the meantime, stay safe and we’ll see you later in the year.

We finish with a letter from our Chairman and the replies from the League coaches/managers: –

  Having been a disruptive, frustrating and at times difficult past year for us all, I would like to thank all involved in helping to conclude another successful League season.

  Despite the many changes and challenges collectively we have safely made it possible for our players to participate in structured matches. We think we are the only Ability Counts League in the country – or amongst a very few – who have actually organised League matches for their teams this season.

  We were hoping to stage a divisional tournament for both the 5 & 7-a-side Leagues in July, that would only be possible if the Government removed all legal limits on social contact by that time, though as that is looking doubtful and unlikely, we cannot safely plan ahead.

The tournament will now instead be held next season, when it will be much safer for all teams to be at the venue at the same times throughout the day and we can then also welcome back and involve the teams who’ve been unable to participate this season.

Please affiliate your teams to the FA for next season before the AGM in early July and complete any outstanding safeguarding courses.

  On behalf of Darren’s family I’d like to thank all the teams for the compassion and consideration expressed towards them.

 Stay Safe and Best Wishes

 Mike


The coaches/managers replies: –

Thank you for everything you have done and all the support you have given us and for keeping us safe.
Take care, keep safe
.

Warm Regards, Sharon Lavender

Secretary/ Manager, City Knights FC

Hi All, thank you for the email, it is really appreciated to be kept in the loop.
Social eyes Rawmarsh St Josephs FC are looking forward to re-joining the League in September and getting back amongst all our friends in this fantastic league.


Stay safe & see you all very soon

Regards, Claire Hobson [Social eyes Rawmarsh St Josephs FC]

Cheers Mike, well done to all the teams that played this season. You can be proud that you have given your players something to look forward to during a hard year! 

I know it’s kept my players going through out the pandemic, knowing they had League games to look forward to. 

Well done to Mike, Darren, the refs and everyone involved in keeping the League going.

Looking forward to seeing all the teams that unfortunately couldn’t play this season.

What a brilliant league we have!!

Thanks for having us! 

Paul & Jaimie & Everyone at Bradford City DFC.

Many thanks for this. Thank you for all your hard work to make it possible 

Claire Cowlishaw

Just to echo what Claire said, a big thankyou to Mike and everyone involved in running SYACL.

Kind Regards, Andrew Robson

Club Doncaster Titans, Secretary@clubdoncastertitans.com

AND FINALLY, more photos from the afternoon.

5-a-side matchday finals and a late report

Today it’s the final 5-a-side matchday at Goals Sheffield and the chance for the 5-a-side teams to celebrate the life of our late secretary Darren Warner. Once again his widow, Sharon and family will join us to present the prizes. Join us later in the week for a complete roundup of all the games.

We have received the missing City Knights 7-a-side match reports, so as a pre-cursor to this afternoon you can relive last weeks games.

Sharon Lavender, secretary/manager of City Knights, began with a thank you to Sharon Warner for presenting the City Knights with the 7-a-side Premiership WINNERS CUP!

Well done guys we are all so proud of you, you deserve this!


Sharon continued, “thank you Colin for all you and Margaret and Mike have done for us to keep this league going and keeping us safe.”

“I felt so honoured to have been asked asked to say a few words in memory of our dear friend Darren. It was lovely that Sharon and Jordan were there to hear how much Darren did for us and meant to us, also to let Sharon know she isn’t alone we are a football family and we stick together and support each other, and we are here to support her and her boys too. We appreciate it wasn’t easy for her to be there without Darren.

We had 3 matches our first was against Bradford City Claret.
Final score 4-0 to The Knights.
Our Second match was against Bradford City Blue.
Final Score 4-0 to Bradford.
Third and final match was against Bradford City Blue.
Final Score 6-0 to The Knights.

Sharon continued, “our first match for the 7-a-side Premiership was against Sheffield Red and we were playing to win the League Cup and the guys certainly played their hearts out!

The first match the guys put the pressure on straight away. Kyle Hancock with a great assist for Stephan MacDonald who ploughed in a great goal. Then the next 3 goals were assisted well by Jordan Bratby for Kyle Hancock to get his hat-trick. Adam Wyatt did well in goal ending up with a clean sheet. Great team work guys!

Second match against Sheffield Red they seemed to have put all their energies into the first game, but by the third match they had recharged their batteries and it showed on the pitch. The first great goal was from Warren Foster and assisted by David Barker, the next one was assisted by Jordan Bratby and scored by Kyle Hancock. The next one was a great one, two pass by Kyle Hancock to Warren Foster to score a great goal, the next goal came just before the first half with a great assist by Jordan Bratby and a great volley by Kyle Hancock. This was the start of another hat-trick for Kyle Hancock, with assists by Jordan Bratby, Warren Foster, David Barker.
Grant Chapman, Adrian Bingham did a great job in defence, another clean sheet for Adam Wyatt. David Barker and Liam Bingham supported well. Jordan Bratby did great on the wing ended up assisting 2 goals. The captain Warren Foster gave great support to his players, whilst scoring 2 goals and assisting one. Steven MacDonald did a great job supporting his team.
They all played well together. Well done guys, we are all proud of you.

Still with the passion in their hearts from winning their last game, they showed all they had got in this game. They played amazing! Classic team work, great ball control, great communication amazing defending and fantastic attacking. Well done to Asa Wilson for his fantastic hat-trick plus 1 and Chris Senior for his 2 amazing goals, Dan Purdy for his great goal, and Gavin Fosters’ amazing final goal.”

Captain Stevie G sent this message.

The first game was good as we all concentrated well to get the job done for the title. A solid performance to get the 4-0 win which allowed us to be more creative in the second game. We were able to play a bit more relaxed game and try new things. All this extra freedom showed in the result with an 8-0 win; despite them having an extra player in the second game.

I think mentally we did well, as they were trying to get in our heads, but we didn’t allow them.

All in all I’m very proud of the lads; we thoroughly deserve the title and every single one of the lads should be proud of themselves.

Thank you to Tim Savage and the management.

Arrival times Sunday16th May for the 5-a-side fixtures

Arrival times at Sheffield Goals Centre, Sunday16th May for the 5-a-side fixtures.

1pm – Spartans, Dooley Blue, Dooley White, Wisewood.

1.30pm – Titans Blue, Titans Yellow. 

2.30pm – Bradford Emeralds, Bradford Fuchsia.

No kit colour clash  in any of the matches, so bibs are not required.

Please be reminded that we are still not allowing spectators to attend and only 2 officials for each team permitted . However, there will not be a limit on the player squad numbers, allowing all registered team players the opportunity of participating on the final day.

We will be staging a celebratory memorial in honour of Darren Warner at 3pm, as was done at the 7-a-side fixtures last Sunday and be joined by his wife Sharon and family members. 

Trophies and medals to the League winners/ runners up will be made after the last matches in each division. 

Bradford City Disability FC remembers

Following on from our remembrance of SYACL secretary Darren Warner on Sunday, we join with Bradford City Disability FC, one of our teams, as they remember the horrific fire at their stadium on Saturday, 11 May 1985 which killed 56.

The Bradford City stadium fire occurred during an English League Third Division match between Bradford City and Lincoln City at the Valley Parade stadium on Saturday, 11 May 1985, killing 56 spectators and injuring at least 265.

The stadium, long-established home to Bradford City Football Club, was known for its antiquated design and facilities, which included the wooden roof of the main stand. Previous warnings had also been given about a major build-up of litter in the cavity below the seats in the stand. The stand had been officially condemned and was due to be replaced with a steel structure after the season ended.

The match against Lincoln City, the final game of that season, had started in a celebratory atmosphere with the home team receiving the Football League Third Division trophy.

At 3.40 p.m., TV commentator John Helm remarked upon a small fire in the main stand; in less than four minutes, with the windy conditions, it had engulfed the whole stand, trapping some people in their seats. In the mass panic that ensued, fleeing crowds escaped on to the pitch but others at the back of the stand tried to break down locked exit doors to escape, and many were burnt to death at the turnstiles gates, which had also been locked after the match had begun.

There were many cases of heroism, with more than 50 people later receiving police awards or commendations for bravery.

The disaster led to rigid new safety standards in UK stadiums, including the banning of new wooden grandstands. It was also a catalyst for the substantial redevelopment and modernisation of many British football grounds within the following thirty years.

Bradford City continues to support the burns unit at the University of Bradford as its official charity.

Seven-a-side finals and a tribute to Darren

It’s been an unusual season, to say the very least; but the final 7-a-side matchday didn’t disappoint as the League reached a stunning climax at Concord Sports Centre in Sheffield on Sunday afternoon, writes Margaret Gregory and Colin Muncie for www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com.

The afternoon – which stayed dry throughout – also featured a moving tribute to former Secretary Darren Warner, whose wife Sharon and son Jordan spent the afternoon with the teams. The League Committee and clubs made a series of presentations to Sharon, and Aston Swallownest coach James Scally paid his own very personal tribute, as did City Knights coach Sharon Lavender. League Chairman Mike Stylianou led the tributes, which ended with a short poem of remembrance.

Players pay tribute to the late, great Darren Warner.

Vernon Thompson and Julie Lambert led a group of visitors from Sherwood Colliery Ability Counts FC who had made the trip across from Nottinghamshire to pay tribute to their great friend.

Sharon presented the League winners and runners-up with their trophies and medals; with the inaugural Darren Warner Fair Play trophy going to Wheatley Wanderers, chosen by Referees Secretary Sean Wright and his colleagues on the basis of their outstanding sportsmanship during the season. This award meant a great deal to Chris Pow and his squad – the first winners of the trophy in Darren Warner’s name.

Congratulations to them and thank you to Sharon and Jordan for spending the afternoon in the company of the players her husband did so much to champion, support and encourage.

Darren would have been thrilled by the standard of football on show across all three pitches on Sunday, with a number of issues unresolved going into the final day. Sadly, there were no spectators on hand to witness the action, but as always, the League’s Covid-19 safety protocols were rigorously enforced, with temperature checks and track and trace recording on arrival, liberal application of hand sanitiser and each squad remaining in their own bubble when not in competitive action.

It was pretty clear that City Knights Black would emerge as Champions from the Premier Division going into Sunday’s fixtures, and they rounded out their season with two wins over Sheffield Red. Sheffield Black clinched the runners-up spot, drawing with Club Doncaster Titans (White) but gaining three points against Derek Dooley Sheffield United Kicks FC. Dooley coach Claire Cowlishaw reflected on her side’s narrow defeat. “This was a well-balanced match with some good attacking and defending by both teams,” Claire told us. “Dooley were talking to each other and were working together with a few shots, but not getting past the goalkeeper. They went behind just before half time.”

“The second half saw some good solid defending and good goalkeeping by Dom to keep them in the game. Brad got the ball in the net from a free kick sailing past everyone and into the goal; shame no-one touched it to bring them level.” 

Dooley’s fared better in their later match with Club Doncaster Titans (White) and clinched all three points. Here’s Claire again; “This match saw a shuffling of positions and Jack going up front where he had a few shots saved. Some solid defending by Adam and great goalkeeping from Nick, saving a few shots and going down to save from his right. Stephen chased a ball stopping it from going out and passing it to Brad who shot and scored to have us winning at half-time. Second half carried on with a balanced match and Elliott scored to increase their lead. Then a shot that couldn’t be stopped brought Doncaster back into the game.”

Claire summed up the afternoon. “It was a great final day of this weird season seeing the team relegated to a more balanced League.”

“This day would have made Darren so proud,” Claire added, “he was a lovely man who will be missed by many. Lovely to hear all the comments, what a man he was, and it was a fitting tribute to create the Darren Warner Fair Play award.” 

With the dust finally settled, the 7-a-side Premier Division table looked like this. Congratulations to City Knights Black and Sheffield Black on their fine seasons.

POSTEAMPLDWDLGFGAGDPTS
1City Knights Black 8710817 22
2Sheffield Black 8431743 15
3Club Doncaster Titans White 813447-3 6
4Sheffield Red 813447-3 6
5D. Dooley Sheffield United Kicks 812537-4 5

It couldn’t have been closer in the 7-a-side Championship, setting up a thrilling 8-minute play-off between Bradford City Disability FC Amber and Aston Swallownest Red.

Before that however, both sides had won both of their final day fixtures to share the lead at the top of the table with identical records and on 21 points each.

Bradford City Amber enjoyed two wins over Derek Dooley Orange. Bradford’s Stefan Dubej takes up the story, “Well done to the Ambers – Champions of the Championship!”

“In our first game, the result was Bradford City DFC Ambers 3 Derek Dooley Orange 0. The first half was close but in the second half we got our noses in front and managed to add to that and got a 3-0 win. Goals by George, McKenzie and Jordan.”

Claire Cowlishaw agreed with Stefan’s assessment.  “The first game was even in the first half, showing solid performances from Nathan and Richard as leaders and good defending by Clark with some super goalkeeping saves by Nathan F,” Claire told Syacl.com. ”The second half carried on as before, but then a lovely shot by Bradford saw them take the lead. This was soon followed by another -but the team didn’t let their heads go down and kept trying against the top of the League.”

In the second game Bradford City DFC beat Derek Dooley Orange 2-0. “It was the same again in the second game,” Stefan recounted.  “We took the lead with a McKenzie thunderbolt followed by an equally good finish from George.”

“The second game carried on at the same pace with both teams making some good runs down, only to be saved by the goalkeepers,” Dooley’s Claire Cowlishaw reported.

Meanwhile, Aston Swallownest Red enjoyed wins over Brunsmeer Awareness -coming from two goals behind – and over Wheatley Wanderers to set up a highly-charged play off.

The 8-minute shoot out saw Bradford City Amber take a two-goal lead, but Aston hit back to set up a tense last few minute. 

Stefan reflected on that tense finale. “So, into the play off we went and it was close to start with. Aston had a few chances but some good saves by John kept it equal. We got a free kick and George spotted a gap and belted in the first goal, from near the half-way line, closely followed by some good team work that resulted in another goal from George. Despite a late goal from Aston, we held on for the victory and the win to make us Champions.”

“I’m so proud of all my players for the effort over the season,” beamed Stefan, “and especially today when we knew we had to win all 3 games. Fantastic!  I also have to mention Henry who couldn’t be with us this weekend, but has been an important part of the team.”

 “My players of the day: John; Chris; James; Jordan; George; Ali; Rhys; Mo and McKenzie – my full squad.”

Wheatley’s Chris Pow gave SYACL.com his take on the afternoon’s events. “We lost our first match to Brunsmeer which was an important game, as we could have escaped relegation with a good win. We put up a great fight, but the game was settled by a good goal on the break.”

Wheatley rounded off their season against title-chasing Aston Swallownest Red. “With nothing to play for but pride, we tried our hardest without subs against this fast, young side,” Chris reported. “Our highlight was Lance scoring a long-distanced shot that got a deflection on its way in.”

“Thanks for a great year. We’ll be back for next season,” Chris signed off; Our congratulations to Wheatley on their well-earned Fair Play award. 

Aston Swallownest Red Coach James Scally was disappointed but proud in equal measure. Writing on his Facebook page, James said “Well done to my Aston teams finishing second in both their Leagues.”

“For the Reds, the play-off was a step too far and maybe the occasion got to the lads, which is normal. I’ve not had a play-off before, so it was new to me too. My lads worked so hard, so hopefully it will be third time lucky.”

“We got closer to going up – that’s all I can ask.”

In the other fixture, there was a win for Brunsmeer Awareness, giving them their second win of the campaign, leaving Wheatley in fifth place, but with the well-deserved consolation of the first-ever Darren Warner Fair Play Award.

The frantic finale meant that the final Championship table was as follows, with our congratulations to Bradford City Amber and Aston Swallownest Red.

POSTEAMPLDWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Bradford City Amber980181724
2Aston Swallownest Red970272521
3Derek Dooley Orange822446-28
4Brunsmeer Awareness821536-37
5Wheatley Wanderers801718-71

Bradford City Blue went into the final Match Day knowing that they would be crowned as Division One Champions; finishing their campaign with a win and a defeat against City Knights Blue.

Reflecting on the first game, Coach Daniel Johnson told SYACL.com, “we started off a bit sluggish, but Stephen got hold of the ball at the left-hand side of the pitch and struck it. The City Knights keeper seemed to get in front of the ball, but it just managed to go in between the keeper’s legs.

“The second goal came again from Stephen assisted by Luke from the edge of the area. The second-half came and the third goal from Tim assisted by Ethan from inside the area; 2 minutes from time Luke stuck a sweet shot from outside the area assisted by Ethan to make it 4. Our Player of the game was Ethan McLaren.”

There was a surprise first defeat in their final game of the season, as City Knights Blue exacted convincing revenge for that earlier defeat. Daniel was philosophical, having rung the changes for that last game.  “It was a very shocking score-line that the management team have to take ownership of for changing things around for the second game, Daniel admitted. City Knights played really well winning the first half 4-0 then things got changed back to original line-up, but still we couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net and conceded another 2 goals losing 6-0.”

“Well done to City Knights Player of this Game – Mark Dalton.”

On a happier note, Daniel celebrated a successful season.  “Despite the results of the day we had started the day already Champions. A big well done to Bradford City DFC Blues – Champions of League One.”

Aston Swallownest Blue enjoyed a thrilling end to their first season by clinching second place under coach Nathan Fox, who admitted to a tense afternoon! Two wins over Sheffield White meant that despite two wins of their own, Club Doncaster Titans Red couldn’t catch the team from Aston to the delight of coach James Scally.

“For the Blues, their first season has been fantastic; even though on a few match days they have been short of players, it’s a great achievement,” James admitted.

“So well done to both teams – up the Aston Swallownest!”

It was a tough afternoon for Bradford City Clarets, as they went down to City Knights Blues and Doncaster Titans.

“It was a bad day for the Bradford City DFC Clarets again today,” Paul Jubb admitted to Syacl.com.  “They lost their first game 4-0 to City Knights Blues. City Knights were too strong on the day and overcame our young side easily.”

“Clarets also lost their second game 6-2 to Doncaster Titans,” Paul added. “There were two good goals from Eddie Ratcliffe at the end of the game.” Steven Jowett was Player of the Day today.”

“This was the Clarets first season at 7-a-side and they have a lot to learn,” Paul concluded.  “Their highlight of the season was beating the Bradford City DFC Blues 2 1 at Bradford Goals!” 

Congratulations to Bradford City Blue and to Aston Swallownest Blue, who occupy top spots in the final Division One table of the season.

POSTEAMPLDWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Bradford City Blue 10 9 0 1 9 1 8 27
2Aston Swallownest Blue 10 6 0 4 6 4 2 18
3Club Doncaster Titans Red 10 4 2 4 5 5 0 14
4City Knights Blue 10 3 4 3 6 6 0 13
5Bradford City Claret 10 1 3 6 4 9 -5 6
6Sheffield White 10 0 5 5 3 8 -5 5

So, the 7-a-side season comes to a thrilling, poignant conclusion. Thanks to all our fantastic players, coaches, our Chairman Mike Stylianou, Secretary Paul Jubb and Referee’s Secretary Sean Wright, and of course to our brilliant Website Editor, Margaret Gregory.

Thanks to Sharon Warner and son Jordan for sharing the final day with us, and to Concord Sports Centre for hosting our competition, and congratulations to all our winners.

Next week it’s the turn of the 5-a-side lads and lasses who wrap up their own season at Goals Sheffield.

Stay tuned to www.sheffieldabilitycountsleague.com for latest news and reports; and to our Twitter feed @syacl.

And finally, more photos on the day.

South Yorkshire Ability Counts League in successful grant funding bid.

The SYACL is delighted to report that it has been successful in winning a bid for funding as part of the Football Foundation’s “Return to Football” grant scheme, writes Margaret Gregory for SYACL.com

The Football Foundation is a charity jointly funded by the Premier League, the Football Association and the Government; Return to Football is a £2.1m fund financed by the FA and Sport England, using money from the National Lottery, which was set up to provide grants of up to £2.5k in support of clubs and organisations who were restarting or setting up new football activities.

The SYACL’s bid for funding was successful, with the maximum of £2500 awarded to the League.

Chairman Mike Stylianou, who put together the application, told the SYACL.com “I’m delighted to tell everyone involved with the League that the Return to Football grant from the Football Foundation has now been deposited in the League account.”

“We have a number of projects planned as the League restarts, so this funding will be very welcome.”

“I’d like to thank the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA for their continued support.”

May 9th – Concord Sports Centre  7-a-side and honouring our Darren Warner

May 9th – Concord Sports Centre  7-a-side.

Teams to arrive at the following times:

1.00pm -C. Knights Black. Sheffield Red. Sheffield White. Brunsmeer.  Wheatley. Aston Blue .

1.30pm – Aston Red.  Dooley Kicks. Sheffield Black. Titans Red.

1.45pm – City Knights Blue. Dooley Orange.

2.00pm – Bradford Amber. Bradford Blue.  Bradford Claret.  Titans White.

Kit Colour clashes in the matches below, bibs to be taken on the day by all the teams affected ….

      Titans Red v Sheffield White

      Titans White v Dooley Kicks   

      Sheffield Black  v Titans White

At 2.30pm we will be celebrating the life of Darren Warner and be joined on the day by his wife Sharon and some of his family members.


We kindly request all teams remain with us for the short ceremony to honour Darren’s life and contribution to the League.

Presentation of trophies & medals to teams finishing first or second will be done not long after their second match and not necessarily at the end of the day, as we normally do.

FA McDonalds Grassroots Football Awards

We have been asked by Nathan Batchelor, National Grassroots Leagues Services Manager if we could help promote The FA McDonalds Grassroots Football Awards to our member clubs, referees, coaches, players etc.

The FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards are for people who make a positive difference. It’s our way to celebrate the fantastic individuals who put their heart and soul into the grassroots game across England – and say a huge thank you to the incredible volunteers who inspire us all.

Individuals are nominated by someone else (not themselves), while anyone involved in a club or league can nominate their own club and/or league.

Award Categories

More details about the awards and how to nominate can be found at https://www.thefa.com/get-involved/grassroots-football-awards

Any help to promote the awards is greatly appreciated, please don’t forget to nominate your league.

Nominations close on the 4th May.

AND WE’RE BACK!!

SYACL 7-a-side action restarts at Concord Sheffield.

After a gap of over 5 months, Concord Leisure Centre saw the resumption of competitive action in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League, with over 4 hours of 7-a-side competition across the three artificial pitches on Sunday 11th April afternoon. It was as if the teams had never been away, and if the players were lacking any match sharpness, they hid it well, with 17 high-calibre matches played in terrific spirit and in a variety of weather conditions, including the occasional snow flurry, write Margaret Gregory and Colin Muncie for http://www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com.

The well-established Covid-19 protocols operated throughout the afternoon, with every player given a temperature check and a healthy dose of hand sanitiser on admission to the venue. Attendance was recorded in line with track and trace requirements, and the matches were expertly handled by Sean Wright and his referee colleagues.

Before the matches got under way, there was a minute’s applause as a mark of respect for the late Duke of Edinburgh.

Premier Division action saw City Knights Black extend their advantage at the top of the table to 5 points over Sheffield Black, with Sheffield Red in third. And Club Doncaster Titans (White) in fourth.

However, despite two battling performances, Derek Dooley Sheffield Kicks left Concord empty-handed after two defeats. Dooley coach Claire Cowlishaw takes up the story for http://www.syacl.com.

“In our first game against Sheffield Red, the team came up against a good side, but Lewis got injured and went off to hospital, and this knocked the lads’ confidence” Claire explained. [After a bit of a wait at A&E Lewis had no broken bones just a very swollen sternoclavicular (which is the front of his shoulder) they said he has got to rest it.]”

Claire continued, “we saw some great defending from Jack and Adam and some good saves by Dom. The game had some lovely passing and Elliott scored to boost his confidence to get a goal back for the lads but the second goal just didn’t come, despite some good runs up the length of pitch by Brad. The lads did well to say they have had a long time away from football through lockdown. I think all were pleased to get back to playing football even if it wasn’t a winning one.” 

“In our second game versus Sheffield Black, the Lads changed keeper and Nick went in showing some good saves but was not able to stop some super shots,” Claire told us. “Elliott and Brad had some great shots. In the second half Jack had a great run and scored a consolation goal.”

With one week of the League competition left, the Premiership table looks like this;

POSTEAMPLDWDLGFGAGDPTS
1City Knights Black651061516
2Sheffield Black632153211
3Sheffield Red613245-16
4Club Doncaster Titans White612335-25
5D. Dooley Sheffield United Kicks602426-42

Into The Championship.

It couldn’t be closer with Aston Swallownest Red and Bradford City Amber locked together on 15 points each and with identical goal differences.

Aston Red enjoyed two wins over Wheatley and Derek Dooley Orange. Wheatley Manager Chris Pow describes that first game. “Special mentions to Tony who turned 60 this year, and our man of the match Kieran in goal for putting in great shifts,” Chris told us, “Aston were always 2 or 3 yards in front though, and beat us comfortably. We enjoy playing against this level, and we are enjoying our time in the Championship.”

Claire Cowlishaw looks back on Derek Dooley Orange’s loss to Aston. “All the players were eager to get back to playing football,” Claire told www.southyorkshireabilitycounts league.com. “This was a hard match to start with, playing top of the league. The players put in a valiant effort but were beaten by the better team.”

Bradford City Amber (pictured) had back to back wins over a plucky Brunsmeer Awareness side. Coach Stefan Dubej was delighted with his afternoon’s work.“ Well done to the Ambers today,” Stefan told us.

 “Despite only having 6 players we won both games to keep in the running for the League title. In Game 1 we went into an early 3-0 lead, then in the second half let one in to take the score to 3-1. That’s the way it stayed until the final whistle. Our scorers were Mackenzie, Jordan and George.”

“In the second game I think they thought we were still playing the first game,” Stefan added. “We let one in and at half time were 1-0 down.” 

After an inspired team talk at half time by the coach we scored 3 goals in as many minutes to seal another victory, with our scorers George with 2 and Mackenzie.”

“Our Player of the Day was John Bigmore for all his amazing saves.”

Brunsmeer star Richard Brown gave us his side’s version of events. “It was a weak start from Brunsmeer as Bradford make it 1-0 in the first few minutes; then a couple of minutes later a goalkeeping mistake from Brunsmeer goalkeeper made it 2-0 to Bradford. A third followed shortly before half time.”

“A much more spirited performance from Brunsmeer in the second made the final score 3-1 to Bradford,” Richard added.

“In game 2, it was a much stronger starting performance from Brunsmeer and in the first few minutes Brunsmeer took the lead and into half time at 1-0,” Richard explained. “Bradford started the second half brightly and got the equaliser a few minutes after the restart; they quickly made it 2-1 and then a 3rd followed shortly after, to make the final score Bradford 3-1 Brunsmeer.”

 In the final game of the day, there was a crucial victory for Derek Dooley Orange in a hard fought contest with Wheatley Wanderers. Here’s Claire from Dooley; “This was a more even match and lovely football played with lots of passing between the players. We applied lots of pressure and Stephen broke the deadlock to give the Orange team their second win of the season.”

Wheatley Manager Chris Pow agreed that it had been a close battle with little between the sides. “An early injury and a small squad held us back today, but we put a good game in against old rivals Dooley’s,” Chris said. ”They scored a well-engineered goal, but we had a few good chances ourselves.”

With just one week of League action left, it’s all to play for in the Championship. The table looks like this:

POSTEAMPLDWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Aston Swallownest Red650151415
2Bradford City Amber650151415
3Derek Dooley Orange62224408
4Brunsmeer Awareness611425-34
5Wheatley Wanderers601516-51

Congratulations to Bradford City Blue, (pictured below} who have clinched the Division One title with a week to spare. Coach Danny Johnson was absolutely delighted.

“League 1 Champions 20/21!! Well done to the Blues who won both their games today to clinch the League title for the 2nd time in 3 years!” said Danny.

“In Game One, between Bradford City Blues and Sheffield Whites, the first half ended 0-0 with both teams playing well to keep the score that way. Then the second half kicked off and Bradford managed to score the first goal with a good run through the middle from Ethan to pass it to Luke who slotted it home. Bradford scored again with a quick kick in from Luke who passed it to Dale who scored.”


“Then the third goal went in, marked with a bit of confusion whether the ball went over the line for a goal kick or not, but with the ref not blowing his whistle Bradford managed to squeeze it through the defence and a little touch from Tim took it past the keeper; 3-0 was the result of that game. In Game 2, between Bradford City Blues and Sheffield Whites again the first half finished 0-0,” Danny told www.syac.com. “Neither team could find a way through to get that first goal, with very good play from both keepers.”


“The second half kicked off, but still no team could get the ball between the goal posts,” Danny went on, “then out of nowhere Luke played a great pass from the edge of the pitch to Dale at the other side, who controlled it well, and with a great strike of the ball scored. The game ended 1-0 to Bradford.”

“Player of the day was Ethan“ said Danny. “He was outstanding today; well done to all the players and teams today it was a really good day.”

It was a tough day for the other Bradford team in Division One, Bradford City Claret (below), who suffered two narrow defeats.

 Coach Paul Jubb admitted that it had been a frustrating afternoon. “It was a bad day for the Clarets today!“ Paul told us. “We lost 4-0 then 3-0 to Aston Swallownest Blue. The Clarets started off with 3 players missing, from beating the Blues in their last game. Mark and Simon came to help out on the day but 7-a-side is a step too far for them to compete in.”

“In the first game it seemed that every time Aston Swallownest had a shot, it went in; and they deservedly won 4-0” Paul told us. “In the second fixture I felt we were the better team and should have been 3-0 up, but we didn’t put our chances away. Again Aston Swallownest scored with every attack, to complete a frustrating day.” 

Paul did enjoy one particular moment from the afternoon. “The highlight of the day for me was Aston Swallownest’s player/manager James Scally’s Ronaldo free kick & celebration,“ Paul admitted. “ I loved it!”  Unfortunately there is no picture of that!!!

So with one League match day left, the title may have been decided, but there’s still a tight battle for second place in the table:

POSTEAMPLDWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Bradford City Blue870171621
2Aston Swallownest Blue840444012
3City Knights Blue724154110
4Club Doncaster Titans Red822435-28
5Bradford City Claret813447-36
6Sheffield White705235-25

The final round of the 7-a-side League fixtures is set for 9th May, again at Concord Sheffield.

For the latest news and reports, visit www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com or follow the League on Twitter @scacl.

And finally, a few more shots from the afternoon.