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Chapman eyeing World Cup glory with VI National Team

Goalkeeper Ben Chapman (left) is eyeing potential future World Cup glory with the small Caribbean nation, the [British] Virgin Islands. Photo: Provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - From the chilly streets of Stoke-on-Trent to the searing heat of the Caribbean, Leek Town goalkeeper Ben Chapman is eyeing potential future World Cup glory with the small Caribbean country, the [British] Virgin Islands.

Across the Atlantic lies a national football team with, bizarrely, a rather unique Staffordshire theme running through it.

“It’s not really a country I was too familiar with at the start,” said Chapman, who was born in Stoke-on-Trent and qualifies for the [British] Virgin Islands as a British passport holder.

“The opportunity came about through a lady called Katie Rowson who was the technical director at the time.

“She came to watch a few of us from the Staffordshire area such as Jordan Johnson, Ryan Dicker, Matt Bell and Karl Espley.”

The Nature Boyz are ranked by FIFA as the seventh worst team in the world with their last victory coming just over five years ago in a friendly against neighbouring Anguilla.

“I would love to create history in the World Cup qualifiers – it doesn’t matter who we would play. To keep a clean sheet or save a penalty would be great.

“I think we just need a run of games to gel as a team and we’ll progress.

‘One result’

“All we need is one result and it would do an awful lot for the country. It would definitely bring a buzz.

“I honestly think we could make a push. It’s a shame that the competitions don’t come around thick and fast and we don’t get to play together too often, we’d love to go out as much as possible.

“Despite the popularity of basketball and athletics in the country, there are lots of football pitches over there and people playing the game.

“I think there’s real potential for growth.”

Closer to home, though, Chapman and his Leek side are preparing for their Integro League Cup clash with local rivals Kidsgrove Athletic on Wednesday night, October 18, 2017.

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