STUDLEY footballer Chris Bright has expressed his pride after claiming his first international futsal cap for Wales.
The 26-year-old winger also became the first Type 1 diabetic to play futsal for Wales after making his debut on November 1 in a friendly against Latvia at the National Velodrome in Newport.
Futsal is a modified form of football played with five players per side on a smaller pitch with hockey-sized goals and a size four weighted ball.
Former Bromsgrove Sporting, Pershore Town and Earlswood Town player Bright, currently plays futsal for Birmingham Tigers in the FA National Super League North.
Speaking to the Standard, Bright said it was an ‘amazing’ moment to receive his first international cap.
He said: “It was an immensely proud day which was added to by achieving it with Type 1 diabetes.
“It was an amazing experience and feeling to pull on your nation’s shirt knowing you’re representing them in your sport.”
Bright, who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for 17 years, first got into the sport after exploring the opportunities within futsal after seeing legendary Argentinian forward Lionel Messi talking about it on the television.
One of Bright’s friends who had played futsal at university invited him along to Birmingham Tigers,with whom he has since gone from strength to strength.
The Tigers’ player of the year for 2014/15 said he took up the sport because of how lively the games can be.
He said: “It’s all about the action and speed of the game. I played in an 8-8 draw at the weekend. I also enjoy how much of the ball you get in the game.”
Bright’s other immediate goal is to help Studley pull clear of danger in Midland League Division One.
However, the Bees were beaten 4-2 at the Beehive by fellow strugglers Coventry Copsewood on Saturday despite holding a 2-1 half time lead thanks to goals from Jack McGinn and Andy Nicol.
Next up is a trip to mid-table Heather St John’s on Saturday.