FA Disability Talent Identification Programme

This page will provide you with all the information you will require about our Talent Identification Programme.

As part of The FA's new and improved Disability Talent Pathway, a new, local, entry level programme has been introduced to allow that first step in to elite disability football. Lincolnshire FA has been awarded with a license to operate a Disability Talent Programme to support the player pathway for the 2017-18 seasons. This license means that the county can deliver opportunities above club level.

What is it?

The Talent Identification Programme is a 6 week programme that will work with players aged 11 to 16 years who show potential to progress along the England Disability Talent Pathway.

The programme starts with an initial England Talent Day event that will look to identify players to move on to the 6 week programme. The England Talent Day will be open to any young person with a disability to attend and also for those identified through professions such as teaching, community grassroots football coaching and others that come in to contact with young people we are looking to attract. Following completion of the England Talent Day, players identified will be invited to attend our 6 week programme.  

England Talent Day – What is it?

The England Talent Day is a 2 hour session that will be held at Christ School, Lincoln. The day will include a series of different football drills and games that aim to identify those players capable of moving on to the next stage. All players with a disability are invited to attend the England Talent Day and showcase their potential to coaches in attendance.

6 Week Talent Identification Programme – What is it?

The Talent Identification Programme is a 6 week course that will provide further expert coaching in all aspects of football. This opportunity is additional to any coaching being received at their current clubs (players are not required to leave their current clubs and can use this as extra quality coaching) and will allow them to enhance their development. Throughout this period, players will be assessed against their abilities and what they demonstrate.
Following this, those players that demonstrate further potential will be signposted to Regional Centres of Excellence.

What Players Are We Looking For?

The programme is open to players with the following disabilities:

  • Learning Disability
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Partially Sighted
  • Deaf (Male & Female)
  • Blind
  • Amputee

Along with those individuals currently associated with disability organisations, we are looking for those that are currently within mainstream sport, mainstream football and mainstream education. This opportunity will provide them additional coaching that will run alongside their current coaching sessions, it is in no way a replacement of where they are currently playing.

It should be explained to all those that this is an opportunity to join the talent pathway and potentially begin the journey to represent England within their respective impairment specific squad. The talent pathway within disability football is much shorter than within mainstream football and with a higher success rate.

One main aim is to provide extended opportunities to progress for those players with a disability. This will allow them to continue playing before it becomes too much of challenge to continue playing competitively in mainstream football. Some players participating within mainstream sport will not necessarily consider themselves to have a disability as they are competing on an even playing field with others without a disability at this present time. However, there will come a point when ability levels start to widen and this can cause them to drop out of sport. This pathway offers them an opportunity to continue playing competitively in a field that will be more suited to them for longer.

Talent Identification Programme, Player experience –


Sam really enjoyed the talent programme that he recently partook in. The staff was very understanding of his needs and adapted their coaching according to these (such as reliance on lip reading, etc.). 
The training provided was of high quality, and definitely helped Sam make progress across the course of the six weeks that he attended. 
Socially, Sam enjoyed playing with children with a variety of other disabilities and it was good for him to spend time with them. He is very understanding of other children and this helped him further develop his social and physical interaction with them according to their needs. 
The program was well run and well organised, with a different purpose for each training session. The training drills were useful and these were then put into practise during games. Overall, Sam had a very positive experience and thanks go to all staff involved for that.