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Scotland Deaf football team appeal for help to reach the Euros



As the country gears up for a huge summer of football – it’s not just Steve Clarke’s squad preparing for their Euros adventure.

In the East End of Glasgow, Scotland’s men’s national deaf team are also hoping to conquer Europe.

A squad made up of all ages and professions are trying to raise enough money to play at this year’s European Deaf Men’s Football Championships in Turkey.

And for the players it’s the chance to fulfil a lifelong dream.

Jordan Kerr told STV News: “Well, I can remember way back when I was around six or seven and my mother and father would take us to watch Scotland Deaf playing, and my father had said to me ‘what do you want to do when you grow up?’ and I said ‘I want to play for Scotland’.

“My father said ‘you can do it if you work hard’, and that’s been my dream ever since being a wee boy. I just want to wear that badge with honour.

“I first of all got into the team when I was 16 and I was so proud to be selected for the squad. When you watch hearing teams playing for Scotland we’re so proud, but we can’t be part of that so being part of the deaf Scotland team is equally as proud.”

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But there’s a problem.

The team is entirely self-funded and are in need of £40,000 in order to make the trip, but at the moment, they’re miles off their target

Kerr added: “Disappointment is not really the word. I mean how do you put into words, you’re so proud, you’ve worked so hard and we might fail just because of some money.

“It’s soul-destroying. It’s my dream, it’s all of our dream. We want to represent Scotland, we want to wear that badge and it’s not having the funds, it really is soul-destroying and we just want people out there to help because we’re a mixed bag here.

“We’re confident and we’re focused and our dream is to go.”

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The team has set up a Just Giving page for donations, in order to cover the squad’s travel and accommodation during the tournament.

But for the association, it’s a frustrating time.

Secretary Joseph Sheridan said: “Well, originally the competition was going to cost £60,000 and we’ve been self-funding all this time, just various things, and we’ve been relying on family and friends and other people just to get some money.

“We’ve had support from the SFA with strips but we’ve not unfortunately been able to get any financial funding and at the moment that’s what we’re looking for.

Joseph Sheridan, secretary of the Scottish Deaf Football Association.STV News

“I feel like a second class citizen in my own country. I’m the same. We’re told in Scotland we’re the same as each other but all of a sudden we’re proving that it’s not (the case). I’m sure there’s lots of people out there who want to achieve that dream like I do.”

The European Championships take place in Antalya, Turkey, from May to June – with Scotland hoping to join 12 other nations taking part in the tournament.

The squad’s Just Giving page is available here.

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