Coach calls for football funding
GREAT Britain must have more funding to compete against the world’s top Paralympic football sides, according to coach Lyndon Lynch.
Scots Craig Connell, James Richmond and Blair Glynn all made their Games debuts in London while Jonny Paterson was part of the team that finished seventh four years ago in Beijing.
This time around they ranked seventh again after a 3-1 extra-time win over the USA yesterday to avoid the shock of finishing last.
“We’re always up against it,” said Lynch. “Russia, Ukraine are full-time sides. These lads are great but we need to secure funding so these lads can do that.
“We need to grab them early and put them in situations where competitions like this aren’t a surprise, play them in high-calibre matches, train together regularly and then we’ll be able to compete.
“We’ve not done as well as we hoped, we wanted to try and get in the medal matches or a top-six finish.
“Although we started badly we’ve finished really well and that’s important for us going forward.”
Goals in extra-time from Ibrahima Diallo and George Fletcher ended the USA’s stubborn resistance after Rene Renteria had given them a shock early lead with their first goal in the entire tournament. Michael Barker, a former teammate of Wayne Rooney at the Everton academy then levelled to force extra time.
“It’s been a really great experience for the younger players. Fantastic crowds, and, hopefully, they will take some positives out of the things we’ve done here at the Paralympics” explained Lynch.
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