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Meet the Medtronic United Kingdom team

Over 120 players applied, and 55 were invited to Wembley for the qualification rounds. But only 11 players could make it into the Medtronic Junior Cup Diabetes, and play for the squad on 25 and 26 August 2012 in Switzerland.

Here are the 11 extraordinary players who made it through.

Adam Alais

Age: 12
From: Mansfield, Nottingham
Position: Right Back 

Adam was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in March 2011, but has been determined not to let it hold him back. He has only missed one football training session since being diagnosed, and went on a school trip the day after diagnosis. Adam is a huge Manchester United fan, and plays for Woodhouse Yellow and Backworth Miners Welfare (who were champions of the 2012 league). Adam won manager's player and parent's player of the year for the 2011 season.

 

Ben Boardman

Age: 11
From: Surrey
Position: Centre Forward 

Ben was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just over a year ago. His mum Wendy realised that Ben's lack of energy and extreme thirst could be signs of type 1, and Ben was soon rushed to hospital where he was in critical care for five days. His family feared that type 1 diabetes would have a large negative impact on his life, but Ben's passion for football has helped keep him focused. He is delighted to be in the final 11, and has enjoyed meeting other football fanatics with diabetes through the Medtronic Junior Cup.

 

Chris Ratcliffe

Age: 10
From: Farnborough, Hampshire
Position: Centre Midfielder 

Chris plays for Frimley Green Blades, and has been the manager's player for the last two years and penalty king for the last four. Until very recently Chris was the only pupil at his school with type 1 diabetes. Football has helped bring Chris out of his shell, and being picked for the Medtronic Junior Cup final 11 has been a huge confidence boost.

 

Cree Gregory-Sayce

Age: 10
From: Ilford, Essex
Position: Right Midfielder and reserve Goalkeeper 

Cree was diagnosed with type 1 aged six, and has never let his diabetes stand in the way of his love for football. One month after leaving hospital after his diagnosis, Cree joined the Redbridge United Royals A team, and later switched to the B team which his dad set up, as he wanted to have fun with his friends and develop as a player. He has played for the team for the last four years and is looking at going to play for Barkingside. He is over the moon about taking part in the Medtronic Junior Cup, and cannot wait to go to Switzerland.

 

Georgie Doe

Age: 12
From: Isle of Dogs, London
Position: Centre Midfielder 

Georgie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged four. He started playing football in October 2011, and went on to well-established team Senrab which has produced footballing legends John Terry, Jermain Defoe and Scotty Parker. Georgie's school and current football manager have been very supportive, and his friends see him as a local superstar after appearing in local newspaper East End Life! His family really enjoyed meeting other parents of children with type 1 at Wembley during the Medtronic Junior Cup qualifying round. 

 

Kyle Gouldbourne-Watson

Age: 11
From: Marston Moretaine, Bedford
Position: Goalkeeper 

Kye was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged three, and has since had around six blood tests a day and has to be woken up twice in the night to monitor his glucose levels. Kye is a passionate goalkeeper and recently played for Crawley Green Kestrals, Luton, but has since left the club to play for a local team, so he can be with his friends. Kye receives private goalkeeping training and his trainer believes he could be a prospect for Wickham Wanderers FC. 

 

Marcus and Ben Ordever

Age: 12
From: Mannings Heath, Horsham
Position: Centre Backs 

Non-identical twins Marcus and Ben are delighted to have both made the team. Marcus was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just 20 months, and Ben at five and a half years old. Last Christmas, their dad Philip was also diagnosed with type 1. The family are determined to lead a normal healthy lifestyle, and the boys play regular sport, especially football. They are both members of Lower Beeding and Handcross Lions, which is part of Horsham District Youth Football League.

 

Marcus Gilroy

Age: 10
From: Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire
Position: Left Midfielder

Marcus was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged four. He has always been a keen footballer, and is a huge Manchester United fan. Marcus has been in the Frome Town AFC squad from the age of four and was voted manager's player of the year last season. He told us: 'It means everything to play for the Great Britain team. I can’t wait to represent the country and score some goals and show that I can still live an active life.'

 

Rebecca Coutinho

Age: 10
From: Epsom, Surrey
Position: Left Back

Rebecca is the only girl on the Medtronic Junior Cup United Kingdom squad. She has played for Epsom and Ewell Coutts under 9s and under 11s, and was recently accepted into the Crystal Palace team along with her identical twin sister. Rebecca was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was five, and her sister has shown no signs of the condition. The girls were nominated for a sport award where they had their names engraved on the Surrey District Cup for thier achievement in sport at school.

 

Tom Littler

Age: 12
From: Billinge, Wigan, Lancashire
Position: Centre Forward

Tom was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged two. His whole family had to go through a crash course to understand the condition and support Tom, but are determined to make sure he leads a normal life, and are delighted that he has been selected for the Medtronic Great Britain team. Tom plays football for his school team and Highfield Grange under 12s, who came second in the league last season. Tom has won 50 trophies and received 100 medals.  Tom told us: 'Football has been my savior during my 10 years of diabetes. I always try my hardest in every game I play and refuse to let me diabetes hold me back. I’m so proud to represent my country and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will cherish for the rest of my life.'

Medtronic Junior Cup Diabetes 2012 

 

Medtronic Junior Cup Diabetes - qualification event at Wembley Stadium

  

Medtronic Junior Cup Diabetes - Switzerland