Goalball UK have announced their GB men’s squad which will face the rest of Europe at the forthcoming IBSA European B championships in September.
Their group (B) comprises of Slovenia, Spain, Poland and Portugal. Group A comprises of Ukraine, Israel, Hungary, Greece & Montenegro. The team includes Caleb Nanevie (Sheffield), Filmon Eyassu (Cambridge), Daniel Roper (March), Joseph Roper (Hereford), Joshua McEntee (Manchester) and Matthew Loftus (Newcastle).
This new look squad will be competing in Chorzow, Poland between 22nd and 30th September, with hopes of returning to the A league, having slipped to the B division last year. If successful this would take the team back to the very highest level of the game in Europe and in a strong position ahead of the World Games and Tokyo 2020.
Faye Dale, head coach of the Men’s GB squad, said: “I’m really confident that this team will deliver our aim of returning to the top tier. “The last squad achieved promotion from C to B to A in astounding time, so we were rightly proud of the performance at the A Championships. “Training has gone really well, with the new players slotting in nicely with existing players whilst adding a new vibrancy and flair to the squad.”
Josh McEntee, who has joined the GB squad only 18 months after picked up the sport, said: “I’m so proud to have been picked for the European’s! It will be the first time I’ve put on the GB jersey and played for the team, so it will be an extremely special moment for me for sure. “Our preparation has been next level, and I think we all feel fully ready to take on the rest of Europe and establish ourselves as a team to be reckoned with ahead of the World Games in 2019.”
Goalball was originally developed to rehabilitate soldiers after WWII and is the only team sport invented specifically for the visually impaired. In the past four years alone, participation has increased 425%.
The GB squads are supported by the Peter Harrison Foundation.