Futsal star Ben Mortlock dreaming of Euro squad place
FUTSAL star Ben Mortlock is hoping to make history this month as part of the record-breaking England team.
The 26-year-old, who was born in Grimsby and previously worked for the Mariners, won his 34th international cap during the UEFA Futsal Preliminary Qualifying win against Lithuania.
And in that 4-3 triumph, England progressed to the second European stage for the first time ever.
Now, standing between them and a place in the main event in Croatia, are Turkey, Slovenia and the Ukraine.
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On paper, at least, the challenge for England is clear.
Mortlock said: “It was good for us, and in many ways that was our victory because the teams we are now going to play are among the best in Europe, and the world.
“It will be great to play against Ukraine, and players of that calibre. It is going to be very hard for us, and not many people will give us a chance.”
For Mortlock, who missed the international double headers against Turkey (February) and Wales (this month), the match against Ukraine could be his first taste of international action since early 2013.
And while the defender may take a while to shake off the rust, he remains confident of playing a crucial role.
Mortlock added: “I did okay against Lithuania in January – I even helped to set up the all-important first goal.
“The next squad has not been announced yet – but the manager said he was planning to take the boys who qualified as a reward.”