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Brighton & Hove Albion Powerchair FC (BHAPFC) are set to take on the best teams in Europe after generous Seagulls supporters and Albion in the Community (AITC) helped the team reach its fundraising target.

More than £2,500 was donated within days of a campaign being launched online by BHAPFC, and AITC decided to match that total. Following AITC’s donation, a generous Albion fan contacted the charity to personally pledge a significant further amount - meaning the team can now...

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Powerchair team heading to Europe

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Brighton & Hove Albion Powerchair FC (BHAPFC) are set to take on the best teams in Europe after generous Seagulls supporters and Albion in the Community (AITC) helped the team reach its fundraising target.

More than £2,500 was donated within days of a campaign being launched online by BHAPFC, and AITC decided to match that total. Following AITC’s donation, a generous Albion fan contacted the charity to personally pledge a significant further amount – meaning the team can now concentrate on the tournament and the small matter of representing the Albion in European competition.

The squad will leave for Denmark later this week after qualifying for powerchair football’s equivalent of the Champions League.

There they will compete against the likes of Aarhus Rolling Devils, Grafteaux, DCU Storm, and Ballerup Skovlunde for the EPFA Champions Cup trophy.

But although the quality of opposition is certain to be high, BHAPFC captain Matt Francis is confident the squad can make a significant impact on the tournament.

The team finished fifth in the top division in England last season and have begun the new season in fine form.

And Francis, who is a regular in the England squad and is odds on to represent his country at the next World Cup, is clear that BHAPFC are not going to Denmark to make up the numbers.

He said: “Qualifying for the Champions Cup has been an ambition of ours since we got promoted to the Premiership four years ago.

“It is amazing that this opportunity has become available to us. The team and I cannot wait to get the campaign started and show Europe’s best what Brighton and Hove Albion Powerchair Football Club has to offer.”

BHAPFC is funded by AITC, with the charity meeting the cost of venue hire for training as well as providing a qualified coach to manage the team and take care of the administrative side of running the squad. In recent years AITC and the powerchair squad have also benefited from generous donations from the Robert Eaton Memorial Fund to help meet the running costs of the team.

The players are also contributing to the cost of the Denmark trip but have been overwhelmed by the support the team continues to receive from Albion fans.

An extremely grateful Francis thanked everyone who has donated or had previously helped the team. He said: “As captain I would like to pass on our appreciation as a team to everyone who is making this trip possible.”

Anyone who would like to contribute directly to the cost of the trip can still do so by emailing: fundraising@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.

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