Jez Represents Bulls Abroad

Mon 04 Feb 2013
Author: Jamie Griffiths

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Hereford United Community Trust coach Jez Vernaeve is off to Japan to represent England at the Partially Sighted World Cup.

Jez, who has been a Community coach with the Bulls for the past 12 months, will take part in his first World Cup, but he already has international experience having played in the the European Championship held in Turkey last June.

His day job sees him coaching sessions around schools in Herefordshire, but he’s also one of the best partially sighted players in England, having been a part of the England setup for three years.

Jez spoke exclusively to matchday programme the bull ahead of the upcoming tournament.

"I've been in the team for a while now. I got a trial through Jon Pugh at the Blind College, and have steadily worked my way into the main squad.

"I've played in a couple of tournaments so far, but this is by far the biggest event, so I’m really excited about it.

"There are 10 of us in the squad, we play to Futsal rules and we will be out in Japan for about 10 days.

"We finished fourth in the European Championship which was disappointing to miss out on the medals by one place, but I’ve got high hopes for the World Cup this time around.

"We’re going out there with the belief we can get a medal. We’ve come on quite a lot and we’re not afraid of any of the other teams out there."

Jez explains the classification system used in the sport.

"The two keepers in the squad are fully sighted, they’re good keepers, they play in the National Futsal League and one plays for Team Bath.

"The outfield players are classified either B2 or B3 depending on their sight. A B2 rating reflects poorer eye sight, and a team must have at least two B2 classified players on the pitch at all times during the game."

Partially sighted football has gone through a few changes recently, as Jez explains.

"There’s been some debate as to certain players in some teams possibly not being honest about their sight.

"The test used to be a simple exam with an eye chart, but there was some concern that it was too easy for people to cheat and make out their sight was worse than it was.

"IBSA are tightening it up and, as a result, hopefully some of those players won’t be able to take part in the future."

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