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REACH group play in Mental Health Tournament


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Players who regularly attend the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust REACH sessions in partnership with Dorset Mental Health Forum were offered the opportunity to play in a tournament hosted by Albion in the Community, at Brighton and Hove Albion.

The day saw teams from across the region who provide a platform for people experiencing mental health difficulties to play football, come together to play in a tournament.

Players representing AFC Bournemouth were given the kit to wear and showcased all the hard work they have been putting in during training. The day started with the team competing in a group stage where they drew against the team they would eventually play in the final, and the Cherries won all of their other games, not conceding a goal due to some excellent goalkeeping by Rhys Robert.

Captain Steve Pender led the team through their group stages finishing top of the table and into the semi-finals.

In the semi-finals, the team faced a very strong Brighton team, but made their way through to the final where the faced Swale United, a team they had drawn with previously.

The final was watched by all who had attended the day and was a close fought encounter, which ended in a 0-0 draw taking the match to penalties. A couple of successful penalties and great saves saw the team finish the day on a real high by winning the tournament.

Disability Inclusion Officer Hannah Powis said: "A huge thank you goes to Albion in the Community for inviting us to our first tournament since the programme commenced earlier this year.

“The day was a true showcase of the increasing opportunities within the region where football supports players experiencing mental health difficulties. The players represented the club well and played fantastically on the day going onto win the tournament”

Head of Community Steve Cuss added: "The tournament was a great way for our weekly participants to play in a tournament for the first time, mixing with other teams from across the south.

"Winning the tournament was a bonus, as the whole day was enjoyable and a great opportunity for all involved."

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