Paralympics 2016: Hard keeping Rio selection secret, says Matt Crossen

Matt Crossen
Matt Crossen hopes to help Great Britain improve on their seventh-place finish at London 2012

Footballer Matt Crossen admitted he had found keeping his Paralympics selection secret difficult.

The Stockton-born midfielder was one of 14 players announced for the Great Britain seven-a-side squad at Wembley Stadium on Monday.

"You have that euphoria where you want to tell everybody, but you can't," Crossen, 25, told BBC Tees.

"It's hard, honestly it really is. There's people you want to tell, but you can't really say anything."

Crossen made his international debut at the 2015 Cerebral Palsy World Championships when England finished fifth to secure qualification fro Rio 2016.

He refused to give up football after a stroke, at the age of 22, left him with restricted mobility down his left side.

"It's what I was working for the whole time. The pre-seasons I did where the lads put me through my paces - it's all come down to this," he said.

"It's a dream come true, I can't get my head round it. With us being the only (GB) football squad going over for the Olympics or Paralympics, hopefully everyone will turn to us and get behind us.

"It's just a massive honour and hopefully we can inspire the nation to get behind us and disabled people to get into sport."

Crossen has already been out to see the 15,000-seat Deodoro Stadium in Rio where the competition will take place.

"They were just putting the seats in when we there and you just have to pinch yourself," he said.

"The night that we walk out and kick off for the first game against the hosts, Brazil, that will be special."

The seven-a-side football tournament kicks off on 8 September.

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