A Blackpool soccer ace has been selected to join the Great Britain Deaf Under-21 squad for the inaugural European Championships this summer.
But Joe Blockley, who has played for Manchester United Deaf football as well as the Blackpool FC Deaf Team, now needs to raise £1,000 so he can realise his dream.
I am over the moon and delighted that I have been picked for the squad to go to Poland for the first ever Under 21 European Championship to Wroclaw
The 20-year-old is studying a foundation degree in Football Coaching at Myerscough College, and is hoping he will be jetting off to Poland in August.
He said: “I am over the moon and delighted that I have been picked for the squad to go to Poland for the first ever Under 21 European Championship to Wroclaw.
“It is an honour to play for Great Britain and to follow my dream to come true to play football in the Euros.
“I am looking forward to more training and experience with the squad.”
Joe added: “I always wanted to play football and make my dream come true. I love football and can’t wait to pull on the GB shirt and represent my country.
“As Great Britain Deaf Football is a voluntary organisation and all of the staff and players involved are self-funding, each player has been asked to raise funds towards the cost of flights, accommodation, travel, and kits.
“Any donation anyone could offer, no matter how large or small, would be much appreciated.”
He wears a cochlear implant, but sometimes due to the weather, or where he is playing he has to remove it.
Being deaf doesn’t hinder his studies either, although Myerscough provides extra support in the form of a support teacher and a note taker to help him understand assignment briefs and modules.
He said: “I sometimes use extra help when I go to lessons for lectures and for practical football lessons and also training.” Joe has his sights set on playing and coaching in the USA and said: “The foundation degree has made me better and pushed up my confidence in coaching and being able to use more technical coaching methods.
“I’ve also been able to play football at a high standard too and have a good laugh and make new friends.
“I now want to work really hard in my football coaching skills and hope to work with a professional club next season and also top up my degree in sports coaching.
“I’d also like to maybe coach and play football in America if I can find a scholarship. I just have to work really hard next year.”
To donate to Joe’s fundraising appeal visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/joe-blockley