Head coach Craig Peattie revealed Scotland’s powerchair football squad are “buzzing” with the anticipation of playing in the EPFA cup competition for the first time.
The Scots’ group – eight players, four coaches plus family members/carers – will head to Geneva for the tournament which takes place next month.
Scotland will be up against Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland and the top three qualify for the EPFA Nations Cup, the equivalent of mainstream football’s European Championship.
It is the first major international competition since Scotland formed a national team in 2018 and Peattie, who is also chairperson of the Scottish Powerchair Football Association, told the PA news agency about the preparations and anticipation.
He said: “The tournament starts on August 20 and our squad are training pretty much weekly in the build-up to it.
“We are going to Newcastle on July 23 to play friendlies against Leeds and Teesside.
“That will be the last matches to practise all the tactics and they will have one more training session before we transport all the chairs to Switzerland.
“The players are buzzing for it.
“As soon as I put out the first communications about it, and the countdown, you could see how excited the players were about it.
“Training has been good.
“Nerves will play a part, no doubt. It is the first time playing at this level and they are trying to finish in the top three to get into the Euros, trying to break through the glass ceiling to get in with the big boys, those guys who have been playing the game for 10/15/20 years at international level.
“Domestically, we are more developed than many of the countries going to the competition but it is about making sure our international team can mirror that.
“For coaches Steven Miller, Gareth Mitchelson and me, this will be our first major tournament as well so we are excited to go over there and show what we have been doing.
“Some of the guys who will be in this Scotland squad – I saw them 10 years ago when they first came in to it, coming to play the sport for the first time and having no clue what is involved in it.
“It is now getting to the point where younger kids are looking up to them and thinking, ‘I want to be a Scotland player just like them’. It is great to see it.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country