8:00am Wednesday 30th May 2012
GREAT Britain Paralympic football team captain Matt Dimbylow got to meet Liverpool and England midfield maestro Steven Gerrard during the BT Paralympic World Cup.
The GB team took time out from their tournament to visit the England team training across the road at the Etihad Stadium ahead of their friendly in Norway.
They watched the very first training session under new manager Roy Hodgson, with the teams then swapping stories on the pitch.
With less than 100 days to go until the London 2012 Paralympic Games begin, Hodgson invited the team to the training session where he said his men were inspired to meet the team – playing an adapted version of the game for athletes with cerebral palsy.
Newly-appointed England captain Steven Gerrard traded stories on the pitch with Stourport-born Dimbylow.
“Football really is the biggest sport in the UK and there is just so much passion within the football community,” commented Dimbylow.
“To have the chance to meet Steven and the rest of the England team ahead of European Championships and watch them play has been amazing.
“We first played in the BT Paralympic World Cup two years ago, where we finished third and are aiming to be on top of the podium this week in what is a crucial tournament ahead of the Paralympic Games this summer.
“Meeting the England team and having the opportunity to spend time with some of the most talented players in the world has been such a memorable experience.”
GB head coach Lyndon Lynch added: “For our guys to meet the England team has really shown me how aligned the teams’ values are.
“The players all train so hard and are dedicated to playing the best football they possibly can for their country and I wish the England team every success in their upcoming Euro 2012 tournament and we will continue with our aspirations of emerging as one of the world’s leading teams at the Paralympic Games.”
Great Britain team had a strong performance at the World Cup. After losing to Brazil 4-2 in the opener, they beat the USA 7-0 and Republic of Ireland 7-3, before losing the final to the South Americans 4-2.
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