Rob Amey

Introducing our Disability Football Ambassador, Rob Amey

Rob is a familiar face to many involved in the local grassroots network and brings a wealth of experience

Dorset County FA is delighted to announce the recruitment of Rob Amey to the team, joining as our new Disability Football Ambassador.

Rob is a familiar face to many involved in the local grassroots network and brings a wealth of experience volunteering in our disability pathway across a variety of roles.

The disability ambassador role is designed to support club officials in the creation of a bespoke disability game plan which may include new playing provisions, coaching opportunities, and/or volunteering roles.

The role is developed in conjunction with the new Disability Club Training workshop and toolkit, scheduled to be rolled out to clubs in the coming season, as we enter the final year of the FA’s strategic plan for the disability pathway: Football Your Way.

We are really excited to have Rob join the team in this new role and look forward to reporting further on the excellent work taking place across the county to provide further disability football opportunities.

To find out more information about the role and working with Rob to develop/start disability football provision, please email 

What roles have you undertaken within the grassroots disability pathway?

I am currently chairman/manager at a local pan-disability football club (Parley Ability Counts), where we have 4 adult teams (including 1 all-female), I'm involved in impairment-specific sessions for people with the super-power that is Down's Syndrome (adults & children), & I'm current chairman of the Dorset Ability Counts league. I have also attended many coaching sessions/CPD events with impairment-specific teams - including the England national B1 blind squad at St. Georges Park. It is important to note: I have circa 15 years of involvement in Dorset grassroots football – predominantly (but not exclusively) the disability game – but learning every day, so am not an expert. The reason that it is important to point this out, is because I believe that often, what holds clubs back from adding disability football provision at their clubs, is that they feel that they need to be experts, or that they don't have the skills or experience required within their clubs – this is almost always not the case! If you are passionate about equality & inclusion – disability football will almost certainly happen.

What do you love about working and volunteering in the disability football pathway?

I believe that all coaches have their own speciality or 'niche' coaching skill or passion – mine is development - & disability football has given me opportunities that I wouldn't have been afforded in 'mainstream' grassroots football. These skills aren't just football-related – they not only improve me as a coach, but also as an individual, with skills that transfer to life too. I love the people, the uniqueness, the fun & the fact that I learn (& make mistakes) every week. I also love the social side of disability football – which is arguably as important as the technical/physical aspects.

Why did you want to undertake the role of disability football ambassador?

I believe passionately that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in football – regardless of barriers. I was truly inspired by the London Olympics/Paralympics, where Paralympians inspired a nation, & came much closer to gaining parity with mainstream Olympians – the legacy of which can still be felt as a force for good. It is this legacy, coupled with the FA impairment-specific pathways to elite level, along with a healthy county Ability Counts football provision across the country (which we want to increase), which proves that football is for all – particularly as football is our national game. I would also love to inspire more people to believe that they CAN participate or be involved in disability football.

What are you hoping to achieve throughout your time in this new role?

From experience, I know that people with impairments/disabilities have far fewer opportunities to participate in sport in general, so I would like to increase these opportunities by increasing the number of clubs or teams (& ergo number of individuals,) participating. This can be in the form of turn-up-&-play sessions (non-competitive), or alternatively participation in the Dorset Ability Counts league – some of which is competitive, some recreational. I would also like to improve participation/opportunity in the non-playing side of football – with a focus on removing some of the barriers that disadvantaged people find in life & also in the workplace – whether as an employee or volunteer.

How do you feel you can support clubs, organisations, charities, and other groups to grow the disability game?

Some clubs may have never really considered disability football – I would love to reach out to them to extol the positive benefits both to them as clubs, & to the community as a whole. I want to help to allay any fears, advise on what is required, & inform on what support/funding is available. Disability football provision also goes hand-in-hand with the new club accreditation system – so now is the ideal time for clubs to increase or start providing disability football provision. Also, as mentioned above, I would also like to encourage & enable more people to become involved in other aspects of football – not just the playing side of thing – for example: photography, admin. (at team, club or league level), coaching, refereeing, oversight, work experience etc. -& not just as a token gesture. It is really important that people with disabilities are not only at the forefront of deciding how disability football is run but are an integral part of how disability football is developed over the coming years. I already currently work for a charity (SAMEE), where we help & mentor disadvantaged people to gain employment or start their own businesses, so I am already acutely aware of some of the barriers into volunteering &/or employment, & feel that an integrated approach with Dorset charities would be a win-win situation for all. It is also important that, as relevant charities & organisations have expertise in what barriers people face, they help to guide & advise us as a County FA.