icon_corner icon_start_stop icon_start_stop icon_start_stop icon_post icon_miss icon_save icon_card_red icon_save icon_start_stop icon_sub icon_card_yellow accessibility icon account-off icon account-on icon arrow-left icon arrow-right icon attack icon chevron-down icon chevron-left icon chevron-right icon chevron-up icon Combined Shape Created with Sketch. cross icon defence icon icon_disallowed_goal email icon facebook icon giphy icon google icon instagram icon linkedin icon lock icon messenger icon padlock icon Svg Vector Icons : http://www.onlinewebfonts.com/icon Panel Created with Sketch. Pattern Created with Sketch. pinterest icon Icon_PlayButton Created with Sketch. plus-thin icon plus icon Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch. search icon soundcloud icon sub-in icon sub-out icon tweet icon twitter icon icon_user__out icon_user_out vimeo icon whatsapp icon icon_start_stop youtube icon


No stopping Ability Counts star Brodie


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

For youngster Brodie Talbot-Davis, football has been a great focus when life at school hasn’t always been plain sailing. 

Having come out of mainstream teaching, the club’s Community Sports Trust has helped him not only improve his football skills, but also his social skills and friendship group. 

It’s not been easier for mum Danielle either, who was pleased to see her son start at SEN school, Portfield, in January after a tough time elsewhere. 

Ahead of World Autism Day, she spoke with afcb.co.uk about Brodie’s progress, the work of the club’s community team and his growing love for football as a result. 

“He has autism and was diagnosed at the age of four,” began Danielle. 

“He was in mainstream school for Reception and Year One. He then went to a CCN unit and it just didn’t work out. Unfortunately, he wasn’t treated very nicely and it’s caused PTSD for him. We removed him from there and in January started at Portfield, which supports Autistic students. 

“He was out of school for a total of 16 months and was at an alternative provision. He started football just before he left school and football has been consistent when he wasn’t there. It’s really helped him.” 

Danielle continued by explaining how Brodie is now able to join in for full-day sessions with the Community Sports Trust during school holidays, something that seemed a tall order for a child who struggled to focus for more than three hours at the alternative provision. 

“He goes every week on a Thursday to the Ability Counts sessions and he also does the soccer camps as well. He does the Ability Counts sessions, but when he does the soccer school, he actually partakes in the “normal” sessions that are not the disability-specific ones. 

“When he was at the alternative provision, he did three hours a day, five days a week because he struggled doing a full day when he came out of school as he lost focus. When he does the soccer camps, he does 10am-3pm without a problem. 

“For the April holidays, he’s booked in all day for three days a week. We’re not quite sure he’d manage the five days just yet. He’s always managed to come in the holidays for full days even though he couldn’t manage full days at the alternative provision.” 

Now eight, Brodie takes part in the soccer schools, goalkeeper sessions and is a member of the club’s Ability Counts set up. 

Not only does he train with the team every Thursday, but he also plays matches every time there’s a fixture, meaning some weeks he could partake in as many as three sessions with the Community Sports Trust. 

As a result, he’s built up a great relationship with the coaches and Danielle could not be happier with the progress he continues to make under their guidance.  

“On a Thursday, it’s the highlight of his week. He loves the sessions and the coaches,” she said. 

“He’s had Katie [Scadding] and Hannah [Powis] as coaches, they really supported him when he first started. He needed quite a bit of encouragement but Katie was amazing.

"He’s also had Paul [Topping] and now got Jordan [Hayter] as a coach and he’s never had an issue with any of them. They interact really well with him and he’s quite happy. 

“A couple of weeks ago, Sam [Hicks] took him off to the toilet and I was sat in the car. Brodie doesn’t do a lot of physical contact and he won’t hold my hand, but when Sam took him to the toilet, he went past the car and he was holding Sam’s hand. He loves them! 

“It’s also been great for him socially. Coming out of school, he really struggled with friends. His last place was mixed ages from Reception to Year Four so it was difficult. There were only six or seven of them there anyway. 

“At football, it made him build his social skills. During the sessions, he’s always interacted well with the coaches or other teammates. The sessions do encourage that because they team them up with other people for the drills, so that’s great.” 

Football clearly runs in the family as cousin Abby Jones continues to shine for AFC Bournemouth women every Sunday, starting on the regular for Steve Cuss’ side. 

Danielle explained how her matches down at Verwood Town are perfect for Brodie to go and watch, with a smaller crowd in place and a few familiar faces out on the pitch. 

“His cousin is actually Abby from the women’s team! 

“He’s been to watch her a few times and gone to a few women’s games. We’re going to the stadium game against Chesham next week and he’s excited for that. 

“The women’s games are good to show him what it’s like when there isn’t as many people about and there isn’t as much noise. It’s great for him to still watch football without being phased by the things you might get at a men’s game.” 

Breaking News