England captains Matt Crossen and Harry Kane came together for International Day of People with Disabilities to discuss their roles and responsibilities in leading their teams.
Crossen, who leads the Para Lions’ Cerebral Palsy team, met his men’s senior counterpart Kane at St. George’s Park earlier this month for a chat.
And they found themselves in familiar territory when discussing their part in being the figurehead and leader for their teams on the pitch.
"I think it's about understanding the responsibility,” said Kane.
“If you're leading by example and doing it right, the guys around you see that and they want to do it.
"Whether that's on the pitch, in the gym or wherever it might be.”
And that struck a chord with Crossen, who has an enviable record of 18 goals in 30 appearances for the Para Lions since his international debut back in 2015.
"I think you've got to have a slightly quiet confidence about yourself, that you're confident in what you can do,” he added.
"You're captain for a reason so they've put the faith in you and I just keep the lads grounded.
"It's about enjoying yourself, and I enjoy myself when I'm out there.
"The level I play at is obviously completely different but the captaincy is going to be the same.”
The pair were also introduced to Nike’s new boot, the Phantom FlyEase, which is easy-on, easy-off boot, designed to make life easier for players with hand and visual difficulties as well as regular athletes.
With a fold-down heel and a Velcro heel strip allowing you to adjust to fit with one hand, the FlyEase’s quick- and easy entry creates access for all athletes.
"With the back being detachable, it gives players the freedom of when they're in a dressing room worrying about who's going to tie their boots, looking at their team-mates and stuff,” explained Crossen, who became involved in Para football after suffering a stroke in 2013 at the age of 23.
"It's massive for our sport because kids will be able to play with a bit more freedom now and won't have to rely on others or be worrying about it.
"They can focus on their game, they can turn up and put their own boots on and you know it's the independence they'll have from the boot I think.”
Kane was equally impressed, adding: "I think it's a great thing, it's going to make a huge difference in your sport and I'm proud to be part of the Nike family for doing it.
"Hopefully, they'll bring you and the boys a few goals.”
Thursday 3 December 2020 is International Day of People with Disabilities and with official England partner BT we are on a mission to transform the profile and understanding of Disability football – join us and show your support on social media #DiscoverDisabilityFootball