Last year’s league champions Portsmouth are looking to make it back-to-back successes in this season’s competition as the first round of matches take place this weekend.
Pompey dominated the last campaign, winning two cups alongside the league trophy under vice-captain Ray Westbrook.
The 41-year-old defensive midfielder has played the sport for 20 years, and helped create the side in 2016 after he wanted to set up a club down on the south coast.
Westbrook played academy football before he lost his leg, and got into the sport after he was spotted by the England manager at the time playing able-bodied football with his prosthesis on.
He’s delighted with how the team has grown over the years and can’t wait to start their hunt for more silverware.
Westbrook said: “When we first started out, every player apart from myself was brand new to the sport, so we struggled at the beginning.
“They learned very quickly though, and last season we dominated the league showing how we have come a long way in a short space of time.”
After making his England debut when he was 25, Westbrook has represented his country for 16 years, his highlight scoring the team’s only goal in front of 40,000 people in the 2-1 defeat at the European Final in 2017 against Turkey.
Playing all around the world in countries such as: Mexico, Spain, Italy, USA and Argentina have given Westbrook some memories he won’t be forgetting in a hurry, but he’s fully focused on his club for now and getting the new season off to a flier.
“The preparation has gone really well so far,” Westbrook said.
“Players are looking fitter than ever and we have secured a few new signings to bolster the squad, so we are ambitious again this year to try and replicate last season and continue to dominate.”
Each year the Portsmouth players also get the chance to go around the pitch at a first-team home game.
It takes place this season on Saturday 25th February when they take on Cheltenham Town, and Westbrook looks forward to being able to do it once more.
“It’s a really special day which makes the lads feel appreciated by the club,” Westbrook said.
“The fans always give us a good reception and it’s nice that the club as a whole supports us and promotes us in such a way.
Training for the team is free, and takes place on Tuesday nights from 7-8pm at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth.
For information contact Taylor Monk on: firstname.lastname@example.org.