Norwich Powerchair team ‘does a Leicester’ and rises right to the top

The Norwich City Powerchair Football Club in training at the City Academy. Jamie Pammenter, 12, left

The Norwich City Powerchair Football Club in training at the City Academy. Jamie Pammenter, 12, left, with Max Bode, 22, centre, and Sam Steel-Jessop, 14. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A sports team from Norwich has 'done a Leicester' and risen from the bottom of their league just 12 months ago to be crowned champions of their division.

And the Norwich City FC Powerchair squad's drive to title glory was done in the best spirit of fair play – their players did not pick up a single booking or red card all season.

The team uses specialised powered wheelchairs to compete in the sport. And, the league they compete in – the Wheelchair Football Association League (South East Division 2) – meant their dozen fixtures all had to be played far away from Norfolk: in Surrey, Kent and Buckinghamshire.

But, despite propping up the division last year, the side finished the season with 31 points, 10 points clear of the side which came second.

The Canaries rounded off their season with a last gasp 1-0 win over Invicta and an 11-0 rout of Crystal Palace, and finished with a goal difference of 38.

The achievements of the squad, made up of top scorer Jamie Pammenter, who netted 17 times, Mike Coleman, Max Bode, Ben Everett, Janette Birkentale and Sam Steel-Jessop, means the side will play in Division One next season.

Team captain Max Bode said: 'I'm so unbelievably proud of my team. All the hard work this season has really paid off. The young players have progressed so well, and shown real character, belief and determination all season.'

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The Community Sports Foundation (CSF) part-fund and helps to run the Powerchair team, who train from 6pm to 8pm on Fridays at City Academy, Norwich.

The squad are coached by CSF disability development officer Darren Hunter, who said he was proud of their 'phenomenal' achievement.

If you want to get involved with the Powerchair team, email darren.hunter@canaries.co.uk

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