A Haywards Heath College student has scored his first England goal, after representing his country in a friendly against Leicester.
Jacob Heasman, who is just coming to the end of his second year of studies on campus, proudly joined the England Partially Sighted Futsal team, appearing recently in their 4-0 win against France as well as the friendly against Leicester.
Having fought for a place in the squad, Jacob made his England debut last year in a 3-3 draw against Spain. He’s since received seven caps, playing in three different countries.
And Jacob, who is also a member of the college’s football academy, says this is only the beginning!
He said: “I have wanted this for eight years, making it is amazing and to be consistently picked for each game is a big deal – proving myself and solidifying my position.
“I have been a huge football fan and played since I was seven locally but, to be honest, I could not do it without the constant support of my family and my great coach, Chris Day, who have all pushed me that step further.”
Diagnosed with an optic nerve glioma at a very young age, Jacob was aware that his dream of playing football of a higher level would need adjusting in line with his capabilities.
He added: “Following my passion initially came with its challenges but discovering a team like this allowed me to realise that the main thing I needed was smaller pitches and a lot of determination to still thrive in the sport.
“I am now living my dream and being part of this squad has given me the chance and route to do so- this is my silver lining.”
The next part of Jacob’s journey will be playing in the Home World Cup in Birmingham next month and his coach and family can’t wait to cheer him on.
Chris Day, Football Coach at Haywards Heath College, said: “We’re all so incredibly proud of Jacob and his ongoing achievements.
“He is the perfect example of how dedication and never giving up can lead you to chase your dreams.”