Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 16.33.33POWER chair footballers are preparing for the big match as they tackle a National Premiership side on their home turf.

Darlington Power Chair Football Club will play host to top side Everton in a showdown of skills and tenacity at Darlington College on January 24.

Darlington College business and IT student James Radcliffe, 19, has played since 2012 and was a member of Middlesbrough’s side until founding a team in Darlington that trains at the college, helped coached by his father George and Dan O’Brien.

A nine-strong squad fields four players at any one time in a skilful and rapid sport that plays 20 minutes-per-half matches, with power chairs reaching speeds of up to 8mph. Next season the team is due to play in the North-East Powerchair Football League Championship Division.

George said: “It is far from dodgems. You have to control the chair and the ball and can be booked for contact that amounts to a serious foul.”

James added: “Darlington College is a brilliant facility with fantastic access straight from the street, good light and excellent staff.”

Striker Dan O’Brien, of Crook, said: “I wanted to do something physical to keep me active. I am a massive football fan so this fitted the bill. It gives me such an adrenaline rush, which is great.

“Everton will be a tough test but we will give it a go. It will be great experience for the team and give us all a taste of where we would eventually like to be and how a well-organised Premiership team operates.”

For more information on the club visit http://www.darlingtonpfc.org.uk/. For more information on Darlington College visit www.darlington.ac.uk.

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