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Zak’s Euros dream

But team need to raise £40k to cover costs

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By Zac Hannay
Sport
Zak's Euros dream
EUROS SHOT . . . Zak Hodgson

A YOUNG Eastriggs footballer is hoping to represent Scotland in Turkey at the Deaf Euros later this year.

But in order to attend the competition, the team must first raise £40,000 to cover the costs.

Zak Hodgson, 18, earned his first Scotland cap on Sunday against Glasgow Colleges.

The national side went down 6-3 in the match to their fully hearing counterparts at Toryglen.

Despite defeat, forward player Zak, still managed to bag one of the Scotland goals in the contest.

The Scottish Deaf Football Association do not receive any financial backing from the SFA and must fundraise themselves if they are to play in the tournament.

Electrical engineering student Zak, who is a former pupil at Annan Academy, has played mainstream football all the way through to senior level.

As a youth he represented Annan Athletic, Gretna and Carlisle City. And he has just recently signed for Upper Annandale in the South of Scotland League where he is experiencing men’s football.

He only recently found out about the Scotland Deaf Team after manager George McGowan got in contact.

Zak said: “I got contacted by the manager and I got invited to a team training weekend in Glasgow, they were impressed and selected me.

“It would be an honour to represent my country at a competition and hopefully it would raise awareness for the deaf community.”

In order to be eligible to play in deaf-specific competitions, players must have a hearing loss of 55 decibels (dB) per tone average in their better ear.

The laws of the game are based on FIFA 11-a-side laws with one adaption. This is that referees have a flag which they raise alongside blowing their whistle – this provides a visual cue for players.

Players also need to take off any hearing-aids prior to a match.

Proud parents David and Kirsty both continue to support Zak on his footballing journey.

Kirsty added: “£40,000 sounds like a lot of money but it works out at about £2000 per person which is achievable.”

All funds raised will be used to cover the costs of sending the squad to the Deaf European Championships in Turkey which start on May 20.

Since setting up the fundraising page three weeks ago the team have already managed to raise £5,700.

*The SDFA was founded in 1889, it is one of the oldest national deaf/disabled sporting organisation in the world. More information can be found on their Facebook page and website.

n If you’re interested in sponsoring the team, you can contact: [email protected] or visit the JustGiving page: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ScotlandDeafFootballTurkeyMay2024?

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