Hello, my name is Rylan Casey and I am here to tell you about my childhood with football, how I got involved in the hearing team while facing with many barriers due to my deafness and now grew to be one of the best young players in the UK and Britain.
Here is a story of my football life.
At the age of 3, very young age, I started playing football alongside with my Dad who introduced this sport and allow me to learn how to play football in our back garden. If I could remember, when it was snowing or any bad weather condition, there is no stopping me for going out and play football. Why is football the sport I love? It is my favourite hobby I love to do while no interest in any other sports. This is because I find football a very interesting sport to play, to learn, to meet new people, to travel and to be involved in the team. Playing football makes me happy person and I have nothing to feel negative.
After few years of continuing playing football, I was interested to participate the trail for South Shore Football Club. The manager of South Shore FC knew I was deaf after my father told them to give them a deaf awareness and support me in training. However, the manager have not said any words about my deafness and allowing me to continue playing football and show what I am capable of. We did couple of fun games where I enjoyed it and learned many new things but after the trial, the manager has given promises to my father if I am getting called up for upcoming games. A week later after the trial, I travelled out with my father for a drive to somewhere I could not remember but we stopped at the traffic light, I looked out the window and from my eyes, there was a football tournament happening at the field. My father and I decided to take a look around the tournament because we both absolute love football. While we were walking around the field, I suddenly felt hurt while my father was annoyed and angry where we both saw South Shore FC (a team I trailed with) was playing in the tournament without asking me to play. It was a heartbroken because it was a moment I would like to experience but this does not stop me as I know there are plenty of opportunities out there. Seeing South Shore FC playing without myself presenting has gotten me upset and felt like nobody would like me or giving me opportunity to show. Few days later, my father was very determined to find a new club because he could see the huge potential in me, gladly he found a team called Spirit Of Youth FC. I went to the team training and met the manager of the team, I explained what about to the previous club. He mentioned that I always remember ‘Nobody are better than you, your ear doesn’t work but you got the eyes, you got the brain and you got the feet so show them why you are the best' Since that powerful quote by the manager, I have turned into a better player that everyone was talking about, other clubs knew my name, I grew bigger and bigger because there is always an opportunity open for me to take. While the barrier is showing that I may have difficult to communicate, the manager finds no issue by using the gesture very slowly to make sure I understood clearly which makes me very happy. The manager then said to me and I believed in myself that I can do it, show them your talent and I did because everyone was talking about me.
When I was involved with mainstream school teams, I find it very difficult sometimes when I get a different coach in each session or season, however this will support me greatly by bringing in an interpreter where an interpreter will tell what the coach has instructed. It is very important to break crucial barriers because I needed the interpreter or having the confidence in myself to communicate with the coach by using lip reading or gesture too or writing on the paper so this allows me to continue developing my footballing. It was not easy but I manage to get used to it and nothing to be embarrassed, think about yourself and not anyone else.
Now at this time, I am studying a football course at Myerscough College, Preston, one of the best college around the UK for the football players to develop and learn. The coach and the interpreter at college have supported and improved me massively by working together and getting involved in every match, giving me more opportunities to play in games. I have gain more confidence every game where we faced different teams with different levels and that helps to my potential and better player. It is crucial to have someone who always support you and allow you to achieve the dream you wanted to become, do not let any barriers stopping you. Break them and keep going, stay humble!
With all the experiences I have learned since age of 3, I have played number of great teams that allows me to involve in game more. I am currently playing for Myerscough College Team, Barnet Deaf Football Club, England Men’s Deaf Futsal team, England Under 21’s Deaf Futsal and Doncaster Under 21’s Deaf Futsal Team. Yes I am playing a huge number of teams but like I said while ago, I always love playing football and it is my number one sport to play. I have made many achievements as travelled outside where I competed in Deaf World Cup 2016 and Deaflympics 2017 with Great Britain Deaf Men’s team. Those two exceptional competition was nothing to forget, it is very important to keep in my heart and kept me going. With the local deaf football club, I travelled to compete Deaf Champion League four times with Doncaster Deaf Trust Football Club and I have played in the European Qualifier against Czech Republic with England Deaf Men’s 11 a side, a crucial win against Czech Republic Deaf Team allows us to qualify into Deaf Euro Championship 2019 in Crete!
Beside from Football, I have also played Futsal with England Deaf Futsal team where they are qualified for Finland Euro Championship in December. My best moment of my life was being nominated alongside with other 3 players in Deaf Champions League Futsal at Seville, I was nominated the best young player in the Europe.
This experienced is something I will never forget because I am only young and I have achieved many things that I always dreamt, this experience also makes me a better player and become an experienced player. I have always believe in myself and to work hard every single day, keep learning and be patient because the chance will come to you.
At the moment, I am currently training hard on my own while focusing for the Futsal competition coming up as well as the 11 side for England Deaf Team. All the players meet up for training to focus more things that will be coached by the excellent coaches, it will be very difficult but it is all about patience, focus and team work. One day, we will hold a silverware if we do not give up!
My advice for many young players that want to achieve the dreams like I have done. The most important is to not let anyone let you down, no one is better than you. You got the talent inside you and show them what you are made of. Keep learning and learn from the experienced players and coaches because your time will come as you are the next generation. Believe and work hard for it and stay humble.
I am hoping to see you coming onto the pitch alongside me!