Writes: Edward Perry
“They are always a team that leaves everything on the pitch when they play and I want to be involved in that,” the words of Portsmouth’s new signing Nathan Fisher.
A brand new IKO EAFL season kicks off tomorrow (Saturday), and several men’s national team representatives will be making their club debuts.
Wearing a new club crest will be Nathan Fisher, who has swapped the blue of Chelsea for the blue of Portsmouth. The former Chelsea defender has made the switch to south coast outfit Pompey for the 2024 season to aid the Blues' hunt for domestic trophies.
Joining a new team can be a difficult step, but Nathan believes that his relationships with teammates in the Pompey squad will ensure it’s a smooth process, he said: “I don’t think it’ll take long to settle, I have good chemistry with most of the players already - with playing alongside them at England training youth teams.”
Nathan is no stranger to silverware having been a part of the England squad that were crowned Nations League Champions last summer and Peterborough United’s FA Disability Cup winning side.
It’s a move that bolsters an already formidable Portsmouth group, and Fisher is relishing the opportunity, “They are always a team that leaves everything on the pitch when they play and I want to be involved in that,” said the defender.
Nathan’s defensive prowess has shown in the vital moments of games, with his goal-line clearance against Spain ensuring England’s 100% record in the Nations League - ensuring England claimed their first major trophy in 33 years. Not bad for a player who received his first call up in 2022.
To keep himself ready for the new season, Fisher plays football three times a week against able-bodied players, and is always striving to be the best version of himself, “I work on playing quick football around the opponents and playing to my strengths,” Fisher explained.
For the first time, The IKO EAFL season will be live-streamed across Facebook and YouTube, but would this bring more pressure to the players involved?
“I am extremely excited about the upcoming season and I’m glad we’re streaming the games now as we deserve the recognition,” said the youngster.
“Knowing my friends and family at home don’t have to travel hours to come see me play, they can just watch it on their screen is great.
“It will feel much more professional but I will not let it intervene with the game.
“I have one focus, the cameras will not distract me.” Fisher said.
Nathan will go head-to-head with his former Chelsea teammates on Saturday afternoon as the two sides kick off the first of three games at 12:30, but how does the Cambridge born man prepare ahead of this one?
“I don’t know what it’ll be like playing against my former team. I know how they play and of course they know how I play too, so in that aspect it’ll be a challenge. However, I love a challenge and I want to prove that to my new teammates at Portsmouth.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea have made a national team signing of their own, snapping up Helder Silva ahead of the 2024 campaign. With bragging rights up for grabs between England team-mates, it all adds to the drama of The IKO EAFL.
If Portsmouth and Fisher are to add to their trophy cabinet this season, they know they will have to get the better of Everton - a sizzling rivalry that will be enjoyed around the world in 2024.
The IKO EAFL season gets underway Saturday 27th January at the Home of Amputee Football, with all the action live across The EAFA Facebook and YouTube.