15-year-old forward Vitor Balde from Peterborough has become the first player to graduate from Peterborough United’s deaf youth team and sign on as a player in the first team squad.
Vitor has been training with Peterborough’s deaf youth teams for three years and is a veteran of many youth tournaments.
He has also been selected to represent the East Midland’s Centre of Excellence for deaf footballers at Derby County for the third successive season.
He will continue to train and play with the youth team as they prepare for the NDCS tournament in March but will also train with the adult team with a view to him making his debut before the end of the season.
Vitor, who is originally from Guinea, put pen to paper last week under the watchful gaze of his brother and guardian, Habib Balde and Andy Palmer, coordinator of the Peterborough United deaf teams project.
Andy said: “It’s another landmark in our development to have one of our young players make the step up to play with our adult teams. Vitor has been a regular with our youth project and with Derby County over the last 3-years.”
“In 2015 we also established our deaf adult team, our youngsters picked up a couple of trophies and began to play mainstream opposition. We also launched our female training sessions too.”
“I hope we have another good year in 2016 where I’m sure Vitor will enjoy his football and we will introduce more of our youngsters into the adult squad.”
Peterborough’s next challenge is the British Deaf Futsal tournament in Leeds before facing Brighton away in the league on 17th January.