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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 20 January, 2018
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'The kind of initiative we're extremely proud to support' - Bohs launch team for new National Amputee League

Cork City and Shamrock Rovers will make up the newly-formed division.

Bohs amputee players Amanda King and James Conroy.
Bohs amputee players Amanda King and James Conroy.
Image: ©INPHO/Gary Carr

WITH THE NATIONAL Amputee League set to kick off at the end of the month, Bohemians today officially launched their newest team.

First-team manager Keith Long, Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha and a number of players were present at Dalymount Park to unveil details of the side this afternoon.

Beginning on 20 January, the league caters for players with congenital limb deficiencies or restricted use of limbs. It will be contested by Bohs, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers — although organisers are hoping to secure a fourth club in the coming weeks.

Ex-St Patrick’s Athletic footballer Christy McElligott, who now works as a Football For All coach with the FAI, will manage the Gypsies.

“The league is a brainchild that we had last year,” McElligott said today. ”We wanted to enable adults and kids who are amputees to be able to play football.

“At the moment, the league will start with three teams but we hope to confirm a fourth before the season starts.

“By the end of the year, we hope to extend it further to six teams. When clubs see the benefits of initiatives like this, we think they will want to come on board.

They will be impressed by the commitment and quality of the players involved, and by the standard.

“The games will be exciting, the games will be fun, the games will be competitive.”

“When I lost my leg, I thought football was gone for me forever,” added Elligott, who was involved in a road traffic accident in 2001.

“But amputee football has given me the opportunity to get back involved and playing.

“For your health and wellbeing, football is the best medicine and I encourage amputees to get involved — they will feel the benfits.”

Source: FAI TV/YouTube

Long, who played with McElligott at St Pat’s, said: “This is the kind of initiative we are extremely proud to support as a club.

“It enriches the ethos of our club and everything we are trying to do both on and off the pitch, through the likes of the Bohemian Foundation.

“I have known Christy a long time and I’m delighted he and his team are going to be a part of the club.”

The idea of ‘Football for All’ is something we as a club strongly believe in,” added Bohemian president Chris Brien.

“Beyond the first team, we want people playing for our club at all levels regardless of ability or disability.

“That’s what a club should be about and we’re delighted to be involved with the new league.”

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