Keith Webb ‘changed’ by his England cerebral palsy squad heroes
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Keith Webb will be bursting with pride when he takes his inspirational Three Lions into battle on on the global stage.
The former Norwich City youth and reserve chief has loved every minute of managing England's cerebral palsy (CP) squad since January 2014. But he admits that guiding them through a home world championship at St George's Park will be the highlight of his tenure so far.
Webb said: 'It's an England team and I wouldn't have any more pride if I was managing the full national side like Roy Hodgson.
'For those players this is their England. It's their national team and when I see the effort and desire they put in to try and be successful, you just can't help but be touched by it.'
The hosts open up the 16-team tournament for players with (CP) – the general term for a number of neurological conditions that affect movement and co-ordination – tomorrow against Japan (1pm) before taking on Iran and European champions Ukraine in their other Group A matches.
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'I've had 28 years in the pro game and I've never seen a team work as hard as we did against Ukraine in the Euros (2014, drew 1-1 in group stage),' said the 53-year-old, who once managed King's Lynn.
'The lads absolutely ran themselves to a standstill. We had to carry some of them off they were that drained. I've never experienced emotions like it watching how much effort they put in. It's a job that gives me enormous satisfaction and it's changed me as a person.'
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