Norfolk student to play in Brazil after getting call-up for England Under-20 Cerebral Palsy football team
- Credit: Submitted - October 2013
As England football stars Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard prepare for next summer's World Cup in Brazil, one Norfolk student is set to get a sneak preview of the country's samba spirit.
Bailey Fleming, who studies at Easton & Otley College, is set to fly out to Sao Paulo after being selected to play for the England Under-20 Cerebral Palsy (CP) football team.
The 17-year-old will be flying to South America on November 23 following successful recent trials at the Football Association's state-of-the-art new football development centre in St George's Park, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
His 10-day trip will see him represent England in matches against five other nations, including Brazil and Ukraine.
He has previously worn the England jersey for the CP development squad against Scotland and Ireland and has also trained with the senior squad, many of whom took part in the 2012 Paralympics.
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Bailey said: 'I'm pleased with my game – it seems to be improving. The higher you go the quicker the game gets and there is more talk and movement – but you also get a lot more encouragement as well.
'I'm so proud to wear the three lions on the shirt. It's amazing. It makes me play better. I just know I'm going to play well because you can't let your country down.'
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The Level Three Extended Diploma in Sport student lives at the Easton Campus of the college, to the west of Norwich, during the week and back at home in Faulkbourne, Essex, over the weekends.
While at St George's Park, the West Ham fan saw his idols taking part in a training sessions before the season started. 'I saw people like Big Sam (West Ham manager Sam Allardyce) and Joe Cole,' Bailey added.
'Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me so I couldn't get any pictures. Hopefully, if I keep improving and playing well for my country, one day Joe Cole might want a picture of me!'
Sports lecturer at Easton & Otley College, Christina McAuley, said: 'I taught Bailey last year. His achievements make me personally feel very proud and the college is equally delighted.
'To play for your country in any sport is an unbelievable achievement and we are looking forward to hearing about his experiences when he returns home in December.'
Bailey's success follows on the back of other national call-ups for sports students at the college in 2012/13, including Kyla Love for the England colleges women's football team and Matthew Norfolk Clarke and Freddie Henley-Hunter for the England colleges men's rugby team.
Do you know someone from the Norwich area who has achieved something special? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email@example.com