This was a fantastic achievement for the talented squad of young players entering their first competitive tournament. It was all the more remarkable given the fact that the Belfast lads lost their opening group match 6-2 to a strong Derby Deaf side but Belfast Deaf battled back to win their remaining matches and then turn the tables on Derby winning 4-3 in a thrilling final laced with high quality football.
The Belfast Deaf youngsters particularly impressed in wins over Bolton Deaf (8-2) and Scotland Deaf (8-4) as they won the trophy in fine style.
There were outstanding individual performances from Aaron Johnston, Captain Trevor McCormick, Cameron Barrett, Cain Taylor, Conor Slack and Ronan and Darren Beattie.
Team coaches Brian Babb and Mark Duff expressed their pride in the team's character and skill levels. “The lads were exhausted at the finish, but they gave everything for the cause and are overjoyed at this success,” said Babb.
Belfast Deaf Utd youth team will travel to St. Georges Park on 3 May to meet the southern area regional champions.
The club would like to thank the Irish FA for all their positive support whilst also acknowledging the significant contribution by Action on Hearing Loss, Sport NI and Action Deaf Youth in improving life quality for deaf people through health/sport initiatives. Special thanks is also extended to kit sponsors Hilton Belfast.