Great Britain Football 7-a-side team score magnificent 7 against USA after being inspired by Roy Hodgson's England squad
about a year ago
Great Britain football 7-a-side star George Fletcher called today “one of the best days of my life” after his hat-trick inspired GB to a 7-0 win against USA, just hours after joining his England heroes at the Etihad Stadium for their pre Euro 2012 preparations.
The 17-year-old and the rest of his GB teammates were invited by new manager Roy Hodgson to join them at their pre-European Championships training base, in the first open training session, with both teams sharing stories and posing for photos.
Hodgson and captain Steven Gerrard both wished them luck with their BT Paralympic World Cup campaign and it appears the support had immediate effect, with the team notching seven unanswered goals against the world’s number 8 ranked team.
Man-of-the-match from GB’s first game of the campaign against Brazil, Ibrahima Diallo, continued his fantastic form, scoring two, with his side’s other goals coming from Michael Barker and Alistair-Patrick Heselton.
“The whole atmosphere today was amazing, the crowd really cheered us on and gave us a boost. They kept shouting for us to give them more and that’s exactly what we went on to do."George Fletcher
Fletcher added: We met the England team today too and we made full advantage of asking them questions and it got us hyped for today’s game where we performed well.
“Today I scored a hat-trick for GB and met the England football team, this has definitely been one of my greatest days and on top of everything I shook Leighton Baines’ hand so as an Everton fan that was a great opportunity for me.”
Captain Matt Dimbylow earlier shook the hand of England captain Steven Gerrard and has hopes for the team to excel against Republic of Ireland on day four of the BT Paralympic World Cup.
Meanwhile, Brazil continued their assualt to the BT Paralympic World Cup trophy with a five-goal rout of the Republic of Ireland.
Jose Guimaraes and Wanderson Oliveira once again got on the score sheet, with Mateus Calvo, Emanoel Oliveira and Fabio Bordignon also scoring.
The day also saw boccia action, with Great Britain taking on the Czech Republic. Of the three international matches, GB won two, with the middle game a draw; a somewhat rare occurrence.
Stephen McGuire opened the account for GB with a 7-1 win against Leos Lacina, before McGuire’s brother, Peter, drew his match 2-2 with Radec Prochaska.
Great Britain secured the win with a 7-1 score line in the pairs, and Stephen was delighted with his first ever appearance at the BT Paralympic World Cup.
“I am so pleased with the win, everyone played really well and the standard was high. This is my first time at the BT Paralympic World Cup and I have loved it. This is a great start to the year for us and it looks good for London.”Stephen McGuire
Peter McGuire added: “It’s been great today, when we get an exhibition like this it certainly increases the popularity of our sport. This is our first tournament of the year and to get back into the competitive spirit of it all has been great. It’s a brilliant tournament and it’s my first time here but I’d love to come back.”
On the basketball court, the Great Britain men could not repeat their football 7-a-side counterparts’ feats, instead going down 70-40 to a USA side inspired by joint leading-scorers Joe Chambers and Josh Turek.
In a whirlwind first half, the USA built a 24-point lead, which turned out to be unassailable, despite the strong efforts of the whole host team and in particular, Ian Sagar.
GB head coach Murray Treseder was understandably disappointed with the result, but still has confidence that his team can beat Japan tomorrow and build a surge towards the BT Paralympic World Cup title.
“We’re concentrating on performances at the moment, so the result, while we would have obviously liked to win, isn’t the be-all-and-end-all.
“It was a bit of a reality check for our boys out there today, but it’s clear that come London, the winner will have to have beaten either Australia, USA or both.
“There are things to work on, like our shooting, but it’s encouraging that we were in the positions to shoot quite a lot.”
Earlier in the day, Germany beat Japan 63-49 in front of a packed-out Manchester Regional Arena.
Andre Bienek was the hero for Germany, scoring 18 points, but he was ably assisted by Thomas Bohme who also notched a double figure score.
The game’s leading scorer was Japan’s number seven, Hiroaki Kozai, who can feel hard done by being on the losing side.
The BT Paralympic World Cup is the largest annual international multi-sport competition in elite disability sport. BT is entering its fourth year as title sponsor, upholding its strong commitment to disability sport in the UK that stretches back over twenty years.
Manchester has committed for the eighth consecutive year to hosting elite international athletes competing across Wheelchair Basketball, Athletics and Football 7-a-side. In addition, Boccia will once again be represented, with an international match being staged during the competition.
The 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup will once again be broadcast by Channel 4. For more information about Channel 4’s Paralympic coverage, visit: www.channel4.com/paralympics.
The BT Paralympic World Cup is sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and supported by ParalympicsGB, BT and Manchester City Council.
Tickets for the BT Paralympic World Cup are on sale. For more information visit: www.btparalympicworldcup.com
The event schedule for the rest of the week see the Manchester Regional Arena host Wheelchair Basketball and Football 7-a-side on 23-26 May and the Boccia match on 24 May.
Oscar Pistorius has recently appeared in a new series of 90-second programmes on Channel 4. Catch his 'One Giant Leap' programme tonight on Channel 4 at 19:55. The films are produced in conjunction with BT. Channel 4 is the host broadcaster for the a London 2012 Paralympics Games. BT is the official communications services partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.