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Kilbride excited by England challenge

Middlesbrough Futsal Club captain Jason Kilbride broke into the England team late last year and believes that the squad are now ready to challenge for a qualifying round place.

Jason Kilbride of Middlesbrough
Jason Kilbride of Middlesbrough ©Middlesbrough Futsal Club

England will aim to go one step further than they ever have before when their UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 preliminary round mini-tournament begins on Friday and their newest player Jason Kilbride thinks they have a great chance.

Kilbride is one of the English futsal league's most experienced players, having played all but one FA Futsal League game for Middlesbrough Futsal Club since its inception in 2008. He made his England bow in November against Andorra and Kilbride believes Pete Sturgess's team, who came second in their section two years ago, have improved enough to mount a challenge in Group C against hosts the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia and Estonia.

"I think we have a great chance," Kilbride said. "The squad is full of ability and has been building up to this for a while now. I think after the training camp we've just had we are more than prepared and could surprise a few people."

The Middlesbrough captain added: "It's a great honour [to play in a EURO]. It's the biggest [international] futsal competition in the world after the FIFA Futsal World Cup and I'm filled with excitement and a little bit of nervousness although that's probably down to the anticipation. All in all I can't wait to get out there. I just want to do well for my country. As long as the team does well I'll be more than happy; although a few goals and qualification for England would be great!"