FORMER Bromsgrove Rovers and Bromsgrove Sporting man Chris Bright claimed his first international futsal cap for Wales earlier this month.
The 26-year-old winger also became the first Type 1 diabetic to play futsal for Wales after making his debut on November 1 in a friendly against Latvia at the National Velodrome in Newport.
Futsal is a modified form of football played with five players per side on a smaller, typically indoor, pitch with hockey-sized goals and a size four weighted ball.
Bright, who used to play for Rovers’ youth, reserve and first team before joining newly-formed Sporting until January 2013, currently plays futsal for Birmingham Tigers in the FA National Super League North.
Speaking to the Standard, Bright said it was an ‘amazing’ moment to receive his first international cap.
He said: “It was an immensely proud day which was added to by achieving it with Type 1 diabetes.
“It was an amazing experience and feeling to pull on your nation’s shirt knowing you’re representing them in your sport.”
Bright, who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for 17 years, first got into the sport after exploring the opportunities within futsal after seeing legendary Barcelona forward Lionel Messi talking about it on the television.
One of Bright’s friends who had played futsal at university invited him along to Birmingham Tigers where he has since gone from strength to strength.
And the Tigers’ player of the year for 2014/15, the year in which he was first called up to train with Wales, said he took up the sport because of how lively the games can be.
He said: “It’s all about the action and speed of the game, I played in an 8-8 draw at the weekend. I also enjoy how much of the ball you get in the game.”
Alongside his futsal duties, Bright has recently signed for Midland League Division One strugglers Studley in a bid to move them away from the drop zone.
Bright has also played semi-professional football for Pershore Town and Earlswood Town.