PARALYMPICS LONDON 2012: British footballers ready to improve on Olympic performance
HE'S won more international caps than David Beckham and has even given the former England captain a football lesson but Dave Clarke would rather remember his career for just one thing - a Paralympic medal.
HOPEFUL: Dave Clarke captain's Great Britain's five-a-side football team, that finished fifth in Beijing and fourth at the last World Championships
Great Britain's five-a-side football captain was part of the squad that finished fifth in Beijing and fourth at the 2010 World Championships.
And the 41-year old, likely to be competing at his last Games, believes the class of 2012 are good enough to finally make their impression on the podium.
“There are seven or eight teams which could win a gold medal, that makes it very competitive,” said Clarke.
“In the last cycle we have moved to a place where we have a realistic chance of a medal.
“I think the crowd is going to be immense. In blind football we are used to having a couple of hundred spectators at the most.
"To know that it’s sold out with 3,500 around the 5-a-side pitch is incredible. Most of them will be willing us to do well, and we’ll use that as a positive.”
Matt Dimbylow has similar hopes for Britain’s seven-a-side team, who include Michael Barker, a former team-mate of Wayne Rooney at Everton's academy, and Martin Sinclair, brother of Team GB winger Scott, in their squad.
“We might not be mentioned as potential medallists but we’re very well prepared and on our day we have a chance,” said Dimbylow.
“We’ve been able to train without distractions and come into the Games relaxed, without the added burden of medal expectations.
“Every player in the team is a good player, and they’re all capable of being world class on their day. We all watched the Olympics in front of packed crowds and if that carries over we are looking forward to reaping the benefits.
“We played in front of 11,000 in Beijing but this will be 16,000 for GB. I think the energy will flow through the whole team.”
© Sportsbeat 2012