Football lads channel energies into the game

Ovenden Phoenix
Ovenden Phoenix

North Halifax young men prove they are on the ball when it comes to thinking on their feet.

Male teenagers and young men from Mixenden, Illingworth and Ovenden have come together over a game of football.

What started as a fun game has progressed into a community partnership with Ovenden and Mixenden Initiative, who were inspired by the coming together of the young males but who wanted them to play with permission so as not to get into trouble.

Some of the lads have had difficult pasts but are making positive changes so have aptly named themselves, ‘Ovenden Phoenix’, associated under the Ovenden West Riding umbrella.

Football player Adam Raynor, 19, said: “We really didn’t expect this support, we never thought anyone would really take us seriously as a group of lads but we’ve had chance to work with a load of people and services we’d never normally meet.

“It’s been challenging at times but worth all the hard work. It’s all coming together and we can’t wait to start the season.”

West Yorkshire Fire Service has helped finance the team kit and equipment and local police constables have dropped-in on team training sessions at Beechwood Park.

Throughout August, the team is taking part in pre-season matches. On August 8 they’re playing at Grove Garden, Ovenden, at 1pm.

On August 10, Ovenden Phoenix will play in a six-aside tournament at Four Fields, Ovenden, and on August 24 they play in a pre-season match with fire fighters and police officers at Trinity Academy, Halifax, at 1pm.