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World Cup injury blow for Matt

PUBLISHED: 16:46 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 22:05 07 July 2010

Matt Ellis.

Matt Ellis.

THETFORD'S cerebral palsy football star Matt Ellis was left cursing his luck after a torn Achilles at the BT Paralympic World Cup ruled him out of this summer's European Championships in Glasgow.

THETFORD'S cerebral palsy football star Matt Ellis was left cursing his luck after a torn Achilles at the BT Paralympic World Cup ruled him out of this summer's European Championships in Glasgow.

The 30-year-old flew over from Miami for the sport's debut appearance at the competition in Manchester and handed Britain the perfect start, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 defeat of USA, writes Chris Cottrell (Sportsbeat).

But Ellis' (and Britain's) World Cup promptly turned sour as the talismanic midfielder tore his Achilles in a 3-1 defeat to eventual champions the Netherlands and could only watch from the sidelines as GB lost 2-1 to the Republic of Ireland before clinching bronze with an 8-4 defeat of USA.

And having been told to rest his injury until September, Ellis admitted missing the European Championships, the biggest competition since the Paralympics, was a bitter pill to swallow.

“I'm gutted obviously,” said Ellis. “I felt a hot pain in the second half of that game against the Dutch and I went over for a scan and it's a torn Achilles. Rather than up the Achilles, it's a 4mm tear across it which is worse apparently.

“So I'll probably be out for about three months now and unfortunately I won't be back in time for the Europeans. If I did carry on, it'll just make it worse apparently so I've got to take time off now and let it heal. Hopefully I'll go up to Glasgow with the lads anyway but it'll be tough to watch from the sidelines.”

While Britain reclaimed some pride with the manner of their victory in the bronze medal match, the competition has been a wake-up call for the squad who were unbeaten in 2009.

And Ellis, who moved to Miami nine months ago, admitted the team need to up their training schedule to be able to compete with the world's best.

“Hopefully we can raise our game and play our attacking, flowing brand of football again,” said Ellis. “I think the problem is we only play once a month together whereas a lot of the teams train once a week. But we're still feeling good about the European Championships.

“I don't want to come out with the old cliché about taking one match at a time, but that's what we've got to do and see where it takes us.”

The BT Paralympic World Cup is the largest multi-sport annual elite disability competition in the world and over 300 athletes competed in Manchester.

The event is supported by Northwest Regional Development Agency and Manchester City Council.


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