Round-up: England Partially Sighted and Blind teams in action
England Partially Sighted defeated France 4-0 at St. George's Park, while England Blind men's team were in action at the IBSA Grand Prix
England's Partially Sighted team enjoyed an impressive 4-0 win over France at the weekend, whilst the Para Lions’ Blind men’s team continued their preparations for the summer with a week-long tournament in Brazil.
The PS squad, under the charge of head coach Steve Daley, took on France at St. George’s Park on Saturday as the Para Lions’ squads get ready for the 2023 IBSA World Games in Birmingham this summer.
After an even opening 15 minutes to the game, it was the Para Lions who opened the scoring through Tom Lamb's free-kick before Josh Pugh doubled the lead following great work from Harry Gibbons to set him up at the back post.
Another free-kick, this time with Adam Lione finding the top corner, made it 3-0 to England and there was a dream debut for Doug Pratt who rounded off the scoring with a goal following an England counter-attack.
England, who are ranked second in the world, were solid in defence against France, with their impressive press and fitness proving key.
The Para Lions also played a friendly against a fully-sighted Leicester team on the Sunday, winning 5-1, and are set to have a further four matches between now and the World Games in August.
"France are ranked three in the world, so it gave us a real good level in terms of how we're doing with regards progression and the fact we scored four goals and kept a clean sheet was really essential to help build confidence," said Daley.
"In all, myself and the staff were really excited and content with the progression we've made since the last camp and we're building momentum with ten weeks to go so hopefully we'll keep adding to that and exposing the players to more fixtures ahead of August.
"So there's lots of positives to take but also lots of learning and things that we can do better, so we'll work with the players on that to make sure we're moving in the right direction."
The Squad: Myles Chadwick (GK), Harry Gibbons, Jacon Heasman, Thomas Lamb, Adam Lione, Owen Locke (GK), Harry Macdonald, John McDougall, Paul McHugh, Josh Pugh, Doug Pratt, Liam Spinks, Jack Walsh (GK)
As for the England Blind men’s team, they took part in the 2023 IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix in Brazil.
The competition took place at the Blind Football Pitch of the Paralympic Training Centre in São Paulo, Brazil, with England drawn in a group alongside the hosts, Japan and Chile.
The Para Lions kicked off with a 1-1 draw against Chile. After falling behind early on, Daniel English scored an equaliser three minutes before half time, with neither side able to find a breakthrough in the second half.
Adam Bendall’s side then narrowly lost out to hosts Brazil in their second group game, going down 2-0, before another close encounter saw Japan edge out our Para Lions with a 1-0 win. Both opponents would end up competing in the eventual final, which Brazil won 2-0.
For England, their final group position meant a seventh-placed play-off with Italy, and they were able to end the trip on a positive note, securing a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Eesa Amjid, who was featuring in a competitive international competition for the first time.
The experience will have provided plenty of learnings as our Para Lions continue their preparations for the 2023 IBSA World Games, which take place in Birmingham this August.
England Blind squad: Dylan Malpas (GK), Owen Bainbridge (C), Azeem Amir, Eesa Amjid, Brandon Coleman, Daniel English, Roy Turnham
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