East Lancs doctors hope for World Cup dream in Brazil

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: East Lancs doctors hope for World Cup dream in Brazil East Lancs doctors hope for World Cup dream in Brazil

TWO East Lancashire GPs are hoping to bring their own ‘World Cup’ home from Brazil.

Dr Paul Fourie, from Wilpshire, and Dr John Zak, from Clitheroe, will travel to South America in July for the World Medical Football Championship, which coincides with the knock-out stages of the FIFA World Cup.

The pair have been part of the Great Britain team for several years and helped the team to victory in the 2009 tournament.

The annual 16-team tournament is staged alongside the Global Congress of Medicine and Health in Sport, which gives doctors the chance to network and share best practice.

Dr Fourie, who works at Witton Medical Centre in Blackburn, said: “Just going to Brazil in the first place is exciting, but to be able to play football in a country that’s so passionate about the game, during their home World Cup, is going to be amazing.

“We’re one of the more consistent teams and have been in the semis or final every year since we won it in South Korea, so hopefully we can do well out there.”

The Great Britain team is made up of medics from all over the country, so they rarely get to practise together.

Dr Fourie, 45, captains the side while Dr Zak, 47, of Pendleside Medical Practice in Clitheroe, is the goalkeeper.

They will compete against sides from Spain, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Sweden, Lithuiania, South Korea and Hungary in the city of Natal.

Although their international record is vastly superior to England’s highly-paid Premier League stars, the British medics still suffer from familiar weaknesses.

Dr Fourie said: “We’ve lost a couple of games on shoot-outs in recent tournaments, so we’ll be doing some penalty practice when we meet up in Manchester in April for training.

“We’re also considering going down the sports psychology route.”

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