England blind football squad aiming for double success in 2019
Date: December 5, 2018
Three Lions captain Dan English is on the hunt for the European Championship title and Tokyo 2020 qualification.
Boasting ten years’ playing experience with England’s national blind football team, Dan English has been the driving force behind the Three Lions’ achievements this year.
The 28-year-old utilised his breadth of experience at the inaugural 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix in February in Tokyo, Japan. England muscled their way to the final but lost 2-0 to Argentina in a penalty shootout. Along with a silver medal, Dan also went home with the most impressive player and top goal scorer awards.
The nations met again in a pulsating quarter-final match at the 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships in Madrid, Spain, in June. England scored an equaliser in the last four minutes, but Argentina broke England hearts by winning the penalty shootout 1-0.
“We put in a very good performance at the World Championships as a team. Although it did not go in our favour, I’m extremely proud of how we prepared and performed during that very demanding period.”
Caption: Dan in action against Morocco at the IBSA Blind Football World Championships in Spain in June 2018 (© Madrid 2018).
Since returning home, England have hosted a handful of training camps and friendlies at St. George’s Park with a focus of improving all areas of the game. Although 2019 is anticipated to be an even more demanding year, Dan believes England are equipped to take a qualification spot for Tokyo 2020 at next year’s European Championships in Rome, Italy.
“We’re determined to try and make 2019 our year for success. The competition in Europe has definitely increased and I feel Germany in particular will be training hard to gain a spot at Tokyo 2020. Nonetheless, we’re going for the European title and qualification for Tokyo.”