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Friday 02 Sep 2016
Three Northern Ireland cerebral palsy footballers competing at the 2016 Paralympic Games

Three Northern Ireland international cerebral palsy footballers will be competing at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janieiro from 7 – 18 September.

23 year old Northern Ireland captain David Leavy will represent Great Britain at the games. David who is from Downpatrick plays in midfield and had 34 caps and 14 Goals for Northern Ireland.

David is a technically gifted player with a superb range of passing and has proven himself to be a great role model for the younger members of the squad. Two of our players will represent Team Ireland in Rio.

Ryan Walker from Armagh and Cormac Birt from Toome will be making the trip. Ryan is a 19 year old striker who has represented Northern Ireland on 40 occasions, is Northern Ireland’s leading scorer with 15 goals.

Cormac (20) has been capped 34 times and has contributed 7 goals in his international career. Cormac goals generally come from outside the box and have included a wonder-goal from the half-way line against England in 2013.

17 year old Jordan Walker (20 Caps, 4 Goals) from Belfast was also selected to represent Ireland but unfortunately has had to withdraw through injury.

Northern Ireland manager Alan Crooks was full of praise for the boys on their well deserved call-ups. "With only 112 cerebral palsy footballers at the Paralympics it is a fantastic achievement to have three from Northern Ireland. The boys have shown their talent and dedication and it is fitting that they will be competing on the world stage."

Northern Ireland CP team are currently ranked 13th in Cerebral Palsy Football World Rankings and have qualified for the 2017 IFCPF World Championships to be held in Argentina in September 2017.

Their qualification campaign included victories over Germany (6-0), Canada (3-2) and Australia (2-0).

If you would like to get involved and have cerebral palsy or a restriction in mobility caused by a brain injury or stroke, please email team manager Alan Crooks acrooks@irishfa.com.