Albion skipper sets sights on World Cup glory

Matt Francis
Matt Francis

Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club Powerchair captain Matt Francis has his sights set on a World Cup win with England.

Francis, who hails from Angmering, only took up the sport seven years ago but has become one of the hottest prospects in the domestic game.

His impressive form for Albion this term saw him rewarded with a call-up into the England Powerchair squad for the upcoming World Cup in Florida, which kicks off today.

Francis and the Three Lions begin their quest for international glory when they take on Ireland later.

Ten teams will compete to be crowned world champions and Francis sees no reason why England cannot win the whole tournament.

He said: “There will be a lot of very good teams at the World Cup but if we play as well as we know we can we have a really good chance.

“It is important to get off to a good start and you can’t underestimate anyone but we’ll be disappointed if we don’t at least make the semi-finals.”

England take on Ireland, France, Australia and Canada in the group stages, before hoping to secure a spot in the last-four.

France, who are in the same group as England, as well as host nation America, are tipped as the favourites.

However Francis, who will wear the number ten shirt for the tournament, believes no team will be better prepared than England.

“We’ve put a lot of work into getting ready,” he added.

“Our training camps have gone very well and I would say of all the teams taking part we probably have the most tactical approach.

“We have also been working closely with a sports psychologist. Playing at a World Cup is going to be massive for all of us, so we have been trying to develop techniques to help us focus on the games rather than the occasion and to help us move on from any mistakes.

“The support we have received has been fantastic. Now it is up to us to perform on the pitch.”

Francis netted 25 goals during a stellar campaign on a personal note for Brighton last term. Opposition voted Francis as man-of-the-match in 17 of the 22 league games he played in last season, an experience Francis feels will stand him in good stead as he prepares to come up against top opposition.

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