Oldham Athletic Community Trust Kicks Project
Oldham Athletic Community Trust Kicks project have continued to offer participants the opportunity to play competitive sport and represent their football club with recent games against Manchester City, Blackburn, Wigan and Everton.
First up was a tournament hosted by Manchester City, held at the Etihad Campus. Eight participants from the Thursday night Kicks session at St Martins attended the tournament which saw them play three games against Manchester City, Wigan and Blackburn.
Unfortunately the first game saw the boys beaten by Blackburn Rovers however this was quickly forgotten about with a comfortable 5-3 victory over Manchester City. There were two highlights from this game which saw a remarkable solo goal from Jamie Dalloway (the team’s first of the tournament) and a header from Cameron Curran that managed to nutmeg the City goalkeeper.
Invigorated from their victory, the lads went into their final game against Wigan Athletic. They managed to twice take the lead, before succumbing to a 6-2 defeat, whilst in truth they matched their opponents for most of the game.
It was a great day for the boys, with them getting the chance to come and play competitive games against other kicks participants from around the county, and despite the defeats they can be very proud of the way they performed, and will benefit from the experience in future Kicks games and tournaments.
Oldham Athletic Community Trust would like to say a huge thank you to The Safeguard Group for their support and partnership of the Kicks delivery. Without the support of The Safeguard Group it would not be possible to take participants on trips outside of Oldham and they therefore would not be able to participate in such events. The Safeguard Group are proud partners of the Kicks project with their logo clearly displayed on the front of the kits.
Ben Ingham, Safeguard Group's Education and Community leader, said: "Safeguard Group are delighted to be sponsoring the Kicks Project and thrilled that the lads have done so well. I'm a bit jealous actually as they've got to do something I may never have the chance for and play at the Etihad campus.
"But on a serious note here at Safeguard we're determined to give more people opportunities through working together with our community partners. People learn and achieve in different ways and however they reach their goals the route to doing that is an important journey. Business and sport together can engage those who struggle with the mainstream and support them to winning ways."
Only days after the Manchester City tournament participants from two of our kicks session (Thursday night St Martins and Saturday night Honeywell) were mixed together to make a squad of 19 for a game against Everton Kicks at SportsDirect.com park.
The build up to the evening was fantastic with a great buzz going round the weekly sessions due to the opportunity of playing on the pitch at a professional football club.
This was one of the first times OACT had mixed participants many from the different sessions however this did not stop the banter and comradery in the dressing room prior to the game.
Jamie Dalloway captained the team on the night and although suffered a 7-2 defeat to a very organised and physical Everton side they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was still talking about it a week later at the session. The stand out performers from the night were Liam Barker, Matthew Hurst, Dylan Jones and William Greenhalgh.
A special presentation was made to Cameron Curran who received a signed Oldham Athletic shirt. Cameron has attended the Thursday night sessions for the past year and soon leaves the UK return to Australia. Everyone at both OACT and the Kicks session would like to wish Cameron good luck for the future.
The next event for Oldham Athletic's Kicks project is the Kicks Nationals which take place on Thursday 28th May and will be held in Liverpool.