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Marcus powering to the World Cup

Powerchair football ace and England fanatic Marcus Harrison hopes the Three Lions will be victorious at Qatar 2022 – but only after his own side similarly soar to World Cup glory in Sydney two months earlier.

Marcus Harrison
Marcus Harrison

After being postponed last year, the fourth Powerchair Football World Cup will take place in Australia this October with England among the favourites for victory.

Harrison, who represents West Bromwich Albion Powerchairs in the domestic powerchair football league, was part of the side that suffered an agonising defeat to France in the 2017 semi-finals as England grabbed the final spot on the podium.

However, having scored twice as England beat France to win the European Championships in 2019, the Black Country star believes his team can now go all the way before Gareth Southgate’s heroes aim for similar success in the Middle East at the first winter World Cup.

The 23-year-old said: “We’ve got a big year ahead in terms of training and getting ready for it, but I can’t wait for it.

“I’m putting a lot of hard work into it, so hopefully we come back with the winner’s medal.

“We’re probably going to play France again at some point, so hopefully we can get revenge and beat them this time. After the World Cup we did beat France in the European final, so that will mean we’re full of confidence going into that.

“We’ve all done it against the best players in the world now, so I think we’ve got a lot of confidence going into the World Cup. We can all compete against the French and America, as well as all the other countries.

“Mentally, we’ve already won one big tournament and we beat the world champions in the final, so hopefully we can do the same again this time.

“I can’t wait for Qatar either. It’s going to be a bit different, being in the winter. That’ll be good to watch. Hopefully we can win it in October and then they can win it in December!”

Though the World Cup is Harrison’s main target for the coming year, there is also a powerchair football league campaign for him and the rest of his domestic Albion side to focus on. The past two years have seen the powerchair football calendar heavily disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic – and Harrison was relieved to start playing again last summer after over a year of cancellations.

Harrison, whose career is supported by funding from Entain – owner of Ladbrokes and Coral – and SportsAid, added: “I was able to get back last year, around March time, to training on my own, and in the summertime we started playing again.

“We had a cup game at St George’s Park that was on BT Sport and we won.

“And then we had another cup game which we won as well. We had our first league fixture in November last year – we had a break over Xmas but now we’re back.

“We’ve got the league campaign, which obviously we want to win again for the fourth time in a row, but we also want to win the cup again at St. George’s Park- that would be fun!”

n Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid.

Visit entaingroup.com to find out more

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