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Thomas Atkinson Is Determined To Captain Pompey To Cup Victory

Thomas Atkinson (pictured) - Image: Sporteyephoto

Writes: Edward Perry

“We’re really proud of how we’ve done so far, but it’s a very early stage of a long season and we all understand that,” the words of Portsmouth goalkeeper Thomas Atkinson ahead of The IKO EAFA League Cup.

Atkinson has been immense between the sticks for Portsmouth and his team tops The IKO EAFL table, but with only four games played, he knows there’s a lot of work still to be done, “We’ve all experienced the highs and lows of a season. We’re at a high at the moment, but that can all change very quickly,” Atkinson told the official EAFA website.

It’s his first full season as captain for Pompey and the responsibility has only made him hungrier for silverware, he said: “With the players and support we’ve got behind us, we have to be aiming to win every competition we’re in.

“It’s my first campaign as captain and I want to be lifting as many trophies as I can!”

The shot-stopper added: “I definitely think we’re in a position to compete on all fronts, but it’s a long season and we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. Because, in football, anything can happen.”

The IKO EAFA League Cup offers up this season’s first opportunity for either team to win their first piece of silverware and Atkinson notes that Portsmouth are ready.

The youngster believes the Pompey dressing room could be a big factor in any potential success.

“We have a vast age range in the squad, from younger ones like myself up to players who’ve played for 20 years. It’s a credit to the squad that we’ve really gelled and are one big unit,” said the Carlisle-born man. 

“It makes us stronger on the pitch. I think the characters in the dressing room have made this season a successful one so far, and fingers crossed it can stay that way.”

Aki, as he’s known, is very proud of his team and he spends most of the interview singing the praises of the squad. In particular Matt Dean has raised many eyebrows so far this season, Atkinson said: “I think he’s impressed for a lot of people outside the team, but we knew he always had this about him.”

While the shot-stopper is full of praise for his side, he’s well aware of the quality of his opponents.

“Each game can change with different tactics and different players.

“I can imagine at points during this weekend things don’t go to plan and there’s adjustments that we’ve got to make. But I think we’re in a good position to adapt to those changes.”

Atkinson looks forward to The IKO EAFA League Cup being streamed and this season’s coverage could help their preparations as well as raising the profile of the sport. 

“It’s a great chance for us to not only document our games so we can look back on them, so we can watch highlights or how teams play, but it’s also a great way of getting Amputee Football out there.”

“You can be anywhere around the world watching it,” Aki added. “I can promise people reading there’s going to be some really good football played and I hope they’ll be watching a Portsmouth win.”

Thomas Atkinson is definitely used to the cameras recently, starring in a video with Football YouTube royalty ChrisMD, Wroetoshaw and Behzinga, “It did incredible on YouTube. It got to number one trending at one point. I’ve had people come up to me, it’s been a really surreal experience.”

He also appeared on ITV’s This Morning with the men’s national team, which resulted in the nation supporting the team to June’s European Championships by raising. “It was probably a lot of people’s first time hearing about Amputee Football. A lot of people have been impressed and had a bit of an introduction to the sport.”

Aki also has been working on his own content creation, with a few big projects to come. “It seems like the skies are the limit at the moment and I really couldn’t tell you where it’s going to go next, to be honest,” he excitedly told us.

Watch the action live on EAFA’s YouTube and Facebook as The IKO EAFA League Cup kick’s off at 12.30pm on Saturday (23rd March). 


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