The countdown has officially begun to the highly anticipated 2018/19 Muscular Dystrophy UK Premiership Powerchair Football season.

The Premiership, held in partnership with the Wheelchair Football Association, will see teams returning to the Nottingham Trent University’s Lee Westwood Sports Centre for five weekends jam-packed with games. The twelve teams who maintained- or established- their place for the upcoming Premiership season will all be working hard to prepare for the season opener on 15 September. I can only imagine how tough the pre-season training will have been, especially amongst those battling to be crowned champions.

This upcoming season will see two new teams enter the competitive top tier of the WFA National League. Both Sevenoaks PFC and Leeds PFC looked fantastic in the Championship division last year, and entertained spectators with excellent skill and passing. Both clubs, who won 20 of their respective 22 league fixtures, will be eager to bring their impressive form into the Premiership this year.

Last year’s thrilling title race saw West Bromwich Albion pip Aspire PFC to the coveted Premiership crown by just one point, so this rivalry will undoubtedly continue in the new season. The teams are set to have each other again on the first weekend of the competition. Aspire PFC and England Captain Jon Bolding said:

I think this coming season is going to be great. With a new committee driving fresh initiatives and pushing the sport to the next level, the football on the pitch should be the best yet.                                                                         

Previous Premiership champions Northern Thunder had a very impressive finish to the 17/18 campaign and have gone unbeaten in their last six fixtures, winning four and drawing two. They will want to maintain that form going into their first fixture against Middlesbrough PFC on 15 September. Brighton & Hove Albion PFC were the stand out scorers last season, accruing an impressive goal difference of +75. It will be interesting to see if they can bring that same attacking prowess into the upcoming season. Key Brighton player Lewis Hammans said:

I am looking forward to the new challenges the season will present. In pre-season, we lost one of our key players Matt Francis to West Brom, so we have all developed our game in different positions and are going to work to the best of our ability and see where it takes us.

The previously promoted sides St George’s Knights and Sale Utd PFC played hard to secure their safety within the top tier of the WFA National League, and will surely look to build on that accomplishment come the opening weekend. Villa Rockets, West Bromwich Albion Throstles, Nottingham PFC and Middlesbrough PFC all finished mid-table last season and will be looking to push for a higher placed finish this year. 

Adam McEvoy, the newly appointed National Development Manager at the WFA, -told us that he was looking forward to his first season at the helm. He said:

The start of the new WFA Premiership season is always an exciting time - pre-season training has finished and teams all will be aiming for a positive start to their league campaign. This season sees many changes both on and off the pitch and with my new role as National Development Manager, I am looking forward to the year ahead    

 

Both MDUK and the WFA will be providing updates throughout the season. If you want to support Powerchair football be sure to come down to the Lee Westwood Centre at Nottingham Trent University on one of the below dates:

The MDUK Premiership will be played over 5 competition weekends:

15th-16th September 2018

27th- 28th October 2018

24th-25th November 2018

2nd-3rd March 2019

6th-7th April 2019

 

Where to find us?

Lee Westwood Sports Centre, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane, Nottingham NG11 8NS

 

Nikki Hill, Director of Marketing and Communications at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:

“Conditions like muscular dystrophy can make it hard to take part in sport, but Powerchair football ensures that people in wheelchairs can compete in this hugely skillful and competitive game. That’s why Muscular Dystrophy UK is sponsoring the leagues in England and Scotland, and supporting the sport by raising awareness and providing grants for equipment to take part".

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