The players and staff of the England Beach Soccer national team gathered yesterday at Pompey In The Community centre to celebrate winning their first two Beach Soccer Worldwide tournaments in 2013 and also to begin their preparation for the 2014 Beach Soccer season.
The squad from 2013 of Sam Webb, Mitch Day, Terry Bowes, Aaron Clarke, Matt Evans, Rich Young, Dean Blake, Mark Mitchell, Josh Younie, Scott Lawson, James Temple and Mark Corbett were joined by Steve Black, Jamie O’Rourke, Jack Morris, Harry Wade, Taylor Humm, Presley Farquession and Billy Grainger.
Also present were Goalkeeping Coach, Steve Hollick and Head of EBSL, David Jones. In addition and because EBSL are looking to give the younger generation a chance to shine at this growing sport, some parents of the newly formed Development Squad were in attendance.
David Jones congratulated everyone on their achievements in 2013 but was quick to look to the future and stated “If England want to make the big time and continue to progress, then we need to realise at least one of three goals. Either to beat a Beach Soccer powerhouse nation, qualify for Division A of the Euro Beach Soccer League or to qualify for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.”
Most of the day was spent studying recent DVD footage from the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Tahiti, the recent Mundialito De Clubes in Brazil and the Intercontinental Cup in Dubai.
Students from Bournemouth University joined the day to get some interviews with England players, Aaron Clarke and Mitch Day and to also film the presentation. It is the second year running that EBSL have agreed to work with Undergraduate Consultancy Groups from Bournemouth University as part of their degree coursework. A promotional video will be out in the new year that is aimed at raising the profile of the sport for next summer’s planned activities.
Every player was presented with their match kits ahead of the annual presentation of the awards.
Top Goalscorer – went to Captain, Matt Evans who has now won this award in three out of the last four seasons.
Player’s Player of the Year – went to Head Coach and player, Terry Bowes
Young Player and Player’s Player of the Year awards – both went to Aaron Clarke in his debut season.
If you think that you could follow in Aaron’s footsteps and go from having never played proper Beach Soccer to starring in the national team, then let’s hear from you. After all, 2014 is World Cup Qualifying year for England.
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