Albion players star on international duty
Four current and former BHAFC Foundation players have been called up to international training camps in recent months.
Both Jake Heasman and Faye Williams are currently away in Spain, taking part in England’s Para warm-weather training camp.
Faye, who was part of our disability football programme for almost a decade, tasted glory with the Lionesses in October 2022 when she won the European Deaf Futsal Championship in Italy.
Jake, who played with the Foundation for about eight years, is part of the men’s partially-sighted squad. He and the team narrowly tasted defeat in the World Games Final in Birmingham last summer, and Jake is a regular in the squad.
Both Jake and Faye are part of a large gathering of England para teams, all coming together for mid-season training.
James Watkins, the FA’s senior technical performance manager for Para, explained how the trip to Spain is a chance to develop the ‘One Para’ culture whilst putting the players through really tough physical challenges.
“It is like a mid-season pre-season camp,” Watkins told englandfootball.com.
“It is about impacting players’ physical performance through tailored sessions. It’s also a chance to provide a positive experience which will springboard players into the main part of the programme and the run in to major tournaments and games.”
Meanwhile, Charlie Hewson has continued to represent England Amputees at youth level in recent months, and Tate Willis has been a key part of the newly-launched England Women’s Amputee national team.
Tate won the Albion in the Community Award in 2018. Disability football transformed her life – both on and off the pitch – becoming both a confident young woman and an excellent footballer.
She was named in the inaugural England Women’s Amputee squad late in 2023, and she seems sure to have a long and successful career ahead of her.
Charlie still plays at BHAFC Foundation amputee sessions every other Monday.
By far the youngster of the team, Charlie is an exceptionally talented player and he has started to gain international recognition.
In autumn last year Charlie made his England youth debut, scoring six goals in a romp against the Republic of Ireland, and he continues to regularly go to England training camps every few months. Read Charlie’s story here.
Phil Broom, Disability Football Lead at the Foundation, is full of pride for what all four youngsters have achieved.
“They’re all really talented players and genuinely lovely young people,” Phil said, “they all fully deserve to be recognised internationally.
“They’re just at the start of their careers, and I’m sure they’ll all go to the very top. I’m so proud of all of them, and I’m proud that we’ve helped them all on their journeys.”
Charlie, Tate, Faye, and Jake all spent years learning and playing with the BHAFC Foundation, and now they are all proud to be Lions and Lionesses.