will rolls england deaf men's football team jtl apprentice

JTL Apprentice represents England’s Deaf Football Team in European Championships

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JTL apprentice Will Rolls is an electrician by day – but appears as an international defender for England Deaf Men’s Football Team by night. 

Will, 25, is an apprentice at James Lee Electrical Limited in Littleport, Cambridgeshire.

But he has spent this summer in Crete, representing England in a prestigious international football tournament.

The European Championships took place at the beginning of June, and Will was selected to play in the team – his first international call-up.

Will, a diehard Liverpool fan, plays domestically as captain of Peterborough United’s Deaf Football team.

He trained with the national squad since March after being spotted by England.

Speaking before the tournament, Will said: “We’re aiming to finish in the top two in our group so we can progress through to the finals and also auto-qualify for the World Cup next year in South Korea.”

will rolls england deaf men's football team jtl apprentice
Will Rolls in training

Paul Sharpe, Will’s Training Officer, said he was understandably excited by the prospect of representing England: “Forget the fact that he’s deaf – he’s a very impressive centre back and clearly doesn’t see his lack of hearing as an issue when he’s on the field.”

The group stage

The team faced Ukraine, France and Sweden in the group stage and began with a 3-1 defeat versus Ukraine.

They then overcame Sweden 2-0 before beating France 1-0 in the final group game to secure their place in the quarter-final.

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The knockouts

England then faced a familiar foe in the quarter final – Germany. Sadly, this was the end of the road as they lost 4-3 on penalties after a goalless match.

A great game against Turkey this morning! Tough game with intense heat, managed to kept clean sheet until 82 minutes…

Posted by England International Deaf Football Team on Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Will: bottom row, second from the left (#19)

They were then defeated by Turkey in the 5th-8th place playoff, before overcoming Italy on penalties to secure 7th place.

However, reaching the knockout stage means the team has booked their place at the 2020 World Cup in South Korea, where we will hopefully see Will flying the flag for electricians!

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