No barriers for Pompey in the Community’s England international Coleman

Since September 2018, Pompey in the Community have been working on a one-to-one basis with Brandon Coleman.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 10:54 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:04 pm
Brandon Coleman on England duty

He currently represents England as a blind footballer and has been competing internationally for the past few years.

Between six and nine times a month, Phil Moody – Pompey in the Community’s Disability Coordinator – delivers training sessions for Brandon, which are linked to his training plan with the England squad.

Moody said: ‘It is a pleasure working with Brandon and encouraging him forward to achieve his goals within the football world.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Brandon Coleman, left, talks to Daniel Stride, clinic manager at the University of Portsmouth's new research optometry clinic Picture: Sarah Standing

He always wants to push himself to progress, which really is a coach’s dream.’

Coleman was fully sighted until he was 17 years of age, but his sight began to gradually deteriorate until he became totally blind.

This completely changed his life.

At the age of 20, Coleman attended The Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford, which really supported him, and also where the

blind football leagues are based.

He showed an interest in playing football and, of course, it took time to get used to the game and to using new skills.

However, Coleman persevered and took it all in his stride.

Under the watchful eye of the scouts, he was spotted and selected to represent England.

Now at the age of 24, he has received 38 England caps and scored 19 goals.

He equalled Harry Kane’s goal tally at the last World Cup by scoring six goals for England at the IBSA Blind Football World Champsionships in Madrid in June 2018.

Coleman is now aiming towards two major events this year –  the Blind Football Grand Prix in March, which is taking place in Japan, and getting himself ready to hopefully take part in the European Championships in September.

He's also aiming to keep the momentum going to qualifying for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

As well as their involvement with Coleman’s training regime, Pompey in the Community are setting up a visually-impaired football session for five to 15-year-olds at the 3G pitches at the Mounbatten Centre, every Wednesday (5-6pm).

The sessions will focus on ball skills and improving technique in a fun and engaging environment.

If you would like to come along for a free trial, contact: [email protected] in the first instance.

Sessions cost £3 per week, but are payable half-termly.