Two Fen footballers aim to achieve national success
PUBLISHED: 10:29 19 June 2019
Two 16-year-old disabled footballers from Fenland are relishing the opportunity to claim national stardom.
Nathan Fisher from Chatteris and Connor Bird from Wisbech both play for the Peterborough United Amputee team, and are preparing to come toe-to-toe with some of England's finest outfits at Boldmere St Michael's FC in Sutton Coldfield next Saturday.
Posh qualified for the National League Finals after winning the Southern League, and will face Everton in the semi-final for the right to play either Manchester City or Portsmouth to become English champions.
Teilo Pearce, manager of Peterborough United Amputees, acknowledges his players' development and recognises their importance to the team's success.
He said: "Nathan joined in the latter stages of last season; Connor is someone who I found out about during a local recruitment drive and he joined in time for the start of the season.
"Connor has played every game and Nathan has only missed one fixture due to an operation.
"They've both been crucial to ensuring that we've had enough players to get through the season, and both have had opportunities this season to train as part of the national Under 23 squad.
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"It's an opportunity to showcase themselves, but I loathe to place too much individual pressure on them."
Despite not being able to train regularly and with no win from their first two games, Posh managed to sneak top spot, who now have a chance to make history.
Pearce knows his side are firm underdogs when they face the current champions and recently-crowned FA Disability Cup winners, but is proud of the efforts made to get to this stage.
He added: "We very much are underdogs, but we go into the game knowing that we have improved with every fixture that we've played and have loads of optimism.
"We've struggled to organise regular training sessions due to the geographical spread of our players, but that's something that we will be discussing over the summer within the club.
"Owen Coyle Jr., the national team manager, will be there watching so this presents an opportunity to put themselves firmly in his thoughts for the future."