Sam Smith: North East teen to fulfil Powerchair Football World Cup ambition
Northumberland's Sam Smith will achieve his childhood ambition at only 17 years old if he features for England's powerchair football team at July's World Cup in Kissamee, Florida.
Smith, who has muscular dystrophy, was named in the final squad for the tournament alongside Northern Thunder team-mate Edward Common.
While Common, 22, has seven caps, Smith is yet to make his international debut.
"It's time for the next step," he told BBC Look North.
"I've played for five or six years, and three years at the highest level [with Northern Thunder].
"I remember sitting in class at school and we were discussing about thing we wanted to do when we were older, and people were saying 'be an astronaut'.
"I said I wanted to play powerchair football for England and it's happening."
Northern Thunder, run by the Percy Hedley Foundation, are one of two clubs along with West Bromwich Albion to have two players included in the squad.
Common, also from Northumberland, was part of England's World Cup squad in 2010 when they were beaten 3-0 by USA, an experience he is keen to avenge.
"This time we want to go one better," he said. "Hopefully we can go one better."