Ex-Peterborough United player Will hopes to be on his way to the Deaflympics in Brazil
Former Peterborough United Deaf footballer Will Palmer has his sights firmly fixed on representing Great Britain in the 2022 Deaflympics in Brazil.
Palmer joined a 22-man training camp at the England FA’s St George’s Park recently as preparations for the qualifying tournament stepped up a gear.
GB are scheduled to play Russia at St George’s Park and Greece away from home in qualifiers this summer.
Should Great Britain qualify, they will travel to Brazilian city Caxias Do Sul for the Deaflympics which is an IOC sanctioned event.
The games have been delayed by one year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Palmer, who trained with Peterborough United’s youth team during lockdown to aid his preparation, plays for Leeds Beckett University’s first team where he is a student.
The weekend at St George’s Park was one of four monthly training camps scheduled ahead of qualifying.
Palmer is a highly-rated winger.
Palmer, who has a cochlear implant to enable him to hear a little, said: “It was a good weekend. We had training sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and focused on attacking which suits me well.
“The facilities at St George’s Park are first class and it was humbling and very exciting to be training at the same place where England’s best professional footballers will be getting ready for the European Championships in a few weeks.
“Russia and Greece are among the best teams in the world so it’s not going to be easy.
“I’m going to be working hard both at the training camps and at home to earn a place in the team for the games.
“It is an amazing feeling playing for England. Just the thought of playing for your country is unbelievable.
“And I want to thank Posh for allowing me to train with them during lockdown so I could keep training at a high level and keep fresh and fit for the camps.”
Palmer started playing football at Hampton Vale Primary’s after-school club.
He became keen to join a team and win trophies and did just that with Hampton Under 10s, scoring over 20 goals in his first season.
Palmer went on to play at Derby’s Centre of Excellence for deaf children and then at Bedford’s East Anglian Centre of Excellence, just missing out on a place in the England men’s futsal team for the 2017 World Cup in Switzerland.
At that time he was playing for Peterborough United’s deaf football team. He led Posh Under 21s deaf futsal team to a National Championship title and a bronze medal in the European Championships.
Palmer has yet to win an England cap with Covid scuppering his likely international debut last year.