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Ledbury goalkeeper Lewis Skyers goes for Paralympics gold in Blind Football
9:00am Thursday 26th July 2012 in Sport
Ledbury ’S Lewis Skyers is going for gold at the London Paralympics as the Great Britain Blind Football squad’s top stopper.
“I’m currently the number one and I’ve been trying my hardest so I’m confident I’ll be the main keeper at the tournament,” he said.
The former Ledbury Town player says: “Brazil will be the heavy favourites going into the tournament but we put them under a lot of pressure when we last played them.
“We’ve had some good results recently, so we’re definitely looking to be on the podium and I think we can win it.”
In blind football, the keepers are fully-sighted, and the 26-year-old, who came across the sport while studying at the University of Worcester, works as outdoor education teacher for children with special needs at Queenswood in Ledbury.
“I enjoy the professionalism in international blind football and that each player has the same desire to be the best they can be, which I feel can be lost in 11-a-side football,” admitted the talented gloveman.
The GB squad train at thePoint4 at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford and the shot-stopper explained: “We’ve been preparing well and the lads are in high spirits.
“I’m feeling fit and ready to go. I’m buzzing for the tournament!”
Former Worcester City keeper Skyers found out earlier in the year that he was in the squad and admitted: “I felt excited, nervous and more so honoured to be representing the country.
“I’ve managed to get tickets for most of my close ones and my parents will be heading down to London on their narrow boat.”
The Manchester United fan is recognisable for his afro haircut and when asked whether he based it on one of his idols, former England goalkeeper David James, he joked: “No, he bases it on me!”
When the tournament is over, the England star says he will be taking a break.
“I will be having a welldeserved rest for a month or two,” he said.
“I just want to chill out from all the training and competition because it’s been pretty intense, so it will be back to good, old Ledbury to see the lads and spend time with my girlfriend and family.”
Skyers played at Evesham United last season and said that the club have asked him to return for pre-season training.
“I’m concentrating on the Paralympics for now and after a break, I’ll scout around a few clubs, throw my name about and see what happens. Stourport Swifts were keen, so we will see.”
Looking to the future, the England star hopes to be in the 2016 Paralympics squad.
He added: “After playing, a potential long-term option for me is to go and coach blind football in Australia, New Zealand or the USA, where the sport hasn’t really taken off.”
The GB squad’s preparations will continue in Hereford before a week in Bath ahead of the Games.
The GB squad’s first match is against Spain on Friday, August 31 at 3.30pm.
This will be followed by m a t c h e s a g a i n s t A r g e n t i n a and Iran on September 2 and 4 r e s p e c - tively.
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