MOTHERWELL footballer Jonathan Paterson insists he is a completely different player to the one who led Britain at the Paralympics four years ago in Beijing.
Paterson was part of the cerebral palsy 7-a-side British team which won silver at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester last month, losing 4-2 to Brazil in the final of the event.
And having been selected again to be part of the British team on home soil in London this summer, where Britain will open up against the Brazilians, he admitted he can’t wait to get his second taste of the Paralympics.
He said: “It’s unbelievable, this will be my second Paralympics. I think I’ve improved greatly and I’ve gained a lot of experience. I’m really enjoying being a part of it.
“Looking towards the Paralympics, I think we’ve got a good chance but it’s just a case of working all the time and improving the errors that have cost us the goals.
“Brazil are in our group in London as well so if we’re going to get a medal we’ll probably have to beat them.
“We’ve still got two months until the main event so there is definitely time to improve. We’ve just got to cut out the mistakes and the defensive errors because we’re scoring goals against the best teams.”
During the World Cup Paterson and his teammates were given the opportunity to meet Roy Hodgson’s England team who are preparing for Euro 2012 in Poland and the Ukraine.
The Brits were clearly inspired by the meeting, trouncing the USA 7-0 the same day and head coach Lyndon Lynch admitted it had been a great boost for the players.
He said: “It was a great occasion for everyone. It was inspirational meeting some quality players, indeed the top players in the country.
“But I said to the players to try to take the energy from meeting players like Steven Gerrard, Joe Hart and Jermain Defoe into our games.
“Moments like that are really great for the players. It’s all important in our build up to London.”
The BT Paralympic World Cup took place in Manchester from 22-26 May with elite international athletes competing in Athletics, Football 7-aside and Wheelchair Basketball.
Go to World Cup website for more information.