World Cup action on the doorstep
- 24 May 2010 15:06
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
Missing your live football already? There's a World Cup happening right here at SportCity this week, and for the first time the BT Paralympic World Cup will include seven-a-sides.
The Great Britain team will kick off their challenge on Wednesday against the United States in an opener that mirrors the World Cup test facing Fabio Capello's England next month.
Skipper Jordan Raynes, 19, will be on familiar territory at the Regional Centre - at 14 he joined City's disability squad and was named player of the season within two years.
Goalkeeper Jordan, whose hero is Peter Schmeichel, said playing in Beijing "was one of the best moments of my life, but to play in front of a home crowd in Manchester will be a great honour."
US skipper Josh McKinney, whose grandfather is a professional poker player, follows the Premier League action on TV and reckons that City are playing their cards right.
Josh said: "We're well aware of City's progress back home thanks to TV, and it's good to see them shaking it up at the top - it's far more exciting when more teams are involved."
One interested spectator at the football will be Roberto ... Roberto Ceriscioli that is, the Juventus-supporting captain of Italy's European wheelchair basketball champions.
Roberto, whose team face GB on Thursday, said of namesake Mancini: "He is well respected and liked back home in Italy, and he has shown himself already to be a very good manager."
"Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius, South Africa's Paralympic gold medal athlete, will compete in the 100m and 400m tomorrow to add to the eight World Cup titles he has won since 2005.
The Paralympic World Cup runs from May 25-May 31. Great Britain's footballers play USA (Wednesday, 12.30), Holland (Thursday, 3.15) and Republic of Ireland (Friday, 2.30). The Final is on Saturday (12.15).