Sir Trevor Brooking was one of the first to congratulate England at Boundary Park last night.
INAS-FID European Championship
England v Holland
Boundary Park, Oldham Athletic FC
3.00pm, Saturday 2 August 2008
After Alan Gillett's England Learning Disability side came from two goals down to reach Saturday's INAS-FID 2008 European Championship Final, one of the first to congratulate the players was The FA's Director of Football Development, Sir Trevor Brooking.
Sir Trevor was at England's opening group game when France were easily dispatched 10-0 at Sport City in Manchester, as well as at last night's semi final where the tournament hosts had to do it the hard way at Boundary Park.
"The Poles were technically very good and had a lot of pace" Sir Trevor told TheFA.com "and we were a little bit below par in the opening stages. As half-time approached I was sat there hoping that we could claw a goal back, but instead we scored twice in four minutes and suddenly it was game on again."
FA Chairman Lord Triesman received a text at the end of the game and this morning added his congratulations. "The team have had some fantastic results and to win the final would truly cap an amazing achievement so far. This is 'England Winning' and an inspiration" he said.
Sir Trevor featured for England in the 1980 European Championship and the 1982 World Cup Finals, making 47 appearances for The Three Lions in total, and he was full of praise for the performance of Gillett's side last night.
"To keep believing despite being two goals down showed a lot of character, and even when you're not on top form, sometimes you have to grind out performances. After the Polish side had a man sent off in the second half, the winning goal was really well taken by Scott Curley, and they'll know that they won whilst missing a couple of key players."
Skipper Ronnie Watson was resting a hamstring injury whilst centre back Frank Curley was required by his club side AFC Hornchurch, and Sir Trevor hopes both will be available for Saturday's final against Holland at Boundary Park.
"Both players are very assured, composed players, and in a final, you need a few experienced heads as the squad are very young on the whole. I think it's accepted that Holland will be the favourites on Saturday, but if Alan [Gillett] has a full squad to choose from, it should be a great game."
In 1966, the Charlton brothers were part of the glorious scenes at Wembley when England lifted the World Cup. England's place in the 2008 INAS-FID European Championship Final was secured by a goal from Frank Curley's brother Scott. An omen? We'll know by Saturday evening.
Admission to Saturday's final at Oldham Athletic's Boundary Park is free. England take on Holland at 3pm.