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Published 01 June 2023 4 min read
England Para Teams

England Powerchair youngster Lewis Harris on World Championship target

Written by:

Tom Masters

The Para Lions are preparing for the FIPFA World Championships in Australia in October and Powerchair youngster is hoping to be on the plane


England Powerchair prodigy Lewis Harris believes the Para Lions are in a great position to return victorious from the FIPFA World Cup in Australia later this year.

The teenager only began training with the squad at Lilleshall National Sport Centre last year after a meteoric rise to the top, having started playing Powerchair football five years ago.

And the West Bromwich Albion player, whose talent was recognised from his performances in the England Powerchair development squad, thinks FA investment has unlocked the sport’s potential.

As part of the FA's commitment to all Para England teams, the Powerchair squad will receive world-class coaching and support services and their progress will be embedded under an inclusive and diverse talent pathway.

Football Your Way is the FA’s landmark disability plan, which provides opportunities to increase participation and shines a light on the designated pathway for mobility impaired players of all ages.

There has never been a better time to be an international player within one of the national Para teams.
01 Jun 2023 0:35

Powerchair football explained

Find out more about the format of Powerchair football, as played by Lewis and his teammates

Harris said: “We have the ability to win the World Cup. Beating France in the EFPA Nations Cup final in 2019 was a step in the right direction.

“We’re on equal terms with them now really. We’re getting there, we’re really close and I think we stand a really good chance of winning it.”

The Birmingham City fan is highly regarded by his coaches and hopes he can stake a claim for a Sydney-bound plane seat in October through his performances at Lilleshall.

Like St. George’s Park, Lilleshall National Sport Centre provides the best grounds, facilities, and equipment for disability and Para teams, equally supporting all England Para squads.

“I’d really love to go to Australia and play for England,” said Harris. “To be fair, three or four years ago I didn’t even know England had a Powerchair football team.

“It’s a dream for everyone to play for England, no matter who you are. I’m so happy to be a part of it.

“With the national emerging talent pathway, you allow people like myself who wouldn’t necessarily get into the team for five or six years to play those international tournaments for England and get noticed.”
The England Powerchair squad are in preparations for October's FIPFA World Championships in Australia
The England Powerchair squad are in preparations for October's FIPFA World Championships in Australia
Key to England’s EUROs success in 2019 has been the FA’s commitment and investment, especially with custom built chairs that facilitate a passing orientated approach.

“The FA have helped the sport push into another category really, expanded it beyond,” said Harris.

“Over a number of years the FA have definitely invested more into it, as they’ve done in disability sports as a whole.

“The more they invest the bigger the sport gets, because the more we can come to places like this.

“Training properly and having more tournaments, naturally it’s going to grow. The more people see it, the more people want to get involved in it.

“With the specially designed chairs you can get more power on the ball. That allows us to play more tiki-taka football.

“Our coaches Colin (Gordon) and Chris (Gordon) want to play that style, pretty football. And it works. It’s really effective.”
Lewis first joined the England Powerchair squad last year
Lewis first joined the England Powerchair squad last year