OISIN MERRITT and the Republic of Ireland Cerebral Palsy team open their 2019 IFCPF World Cup campaign in Seville tomorrow.
Ballybofey United man Merritt has been selected as part of the 14-man Irish squad by manager Paul Breen.
The team will be looking to build on last year’s success when they collected a bronze medal at the European Championships by beating host nation, The Netherlands, in a third-place play off.
“We have prepared well for the World Cup and are going to Seville confident and excited by the challenge ahead of us,” Breen said ahead of the opening game on Monday evening against Finland.
“We were training once a month and this included a camp at Johnstown where we faced The Netherlands in two friendlies and on both occasions we won.
“As we got closer to the World Cup we’ve trained once-a-week at Abbotstown and that has prepared us well for what is a tough group. Finland will present a challenge, Iran are considered one of the strongest in the World Cup as are the USA but we have no reason to fear any team.”
Merritt was part of the Irish CP squad that won bronze last August and scored twice in a 5-1 group stage win over Germany.
Merritt had to have part of his skull replaced after a fall from a balcony in Spain in June, 2014, but in April 2017 he was given the go-ahead to return to competitive sport.
Merritt was dubbed ‘The Miracle Man’ by doctors at Son Espases Hospital in Palma after a fall that saw him suffer a broken skull, a broken bone at the top of his neck, five breaks in his jaw, a broken cheekbone, a ruptured spleen and permanent deafness in his left ear.
08/07/2019: Ireland v Finland ( 6pm Irish time), Seville
10/07/2019: Iran v Ireland (10am Irish time), Seville
12/07/2019: Ireland v USA (6.10pm Irish time), Seville
13 – 14/07/2019: Quarter Final, Seville
16/07/2019: Semi Final, Seville
18/07/2019: 16th – 10thplace play-offs, Seville
19/07/2019: Final/3rd to 8thplace play off, SevilleTags: