Tug-of-war tournaments help Matlock Town prospect with football’s physical demands

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Matlock Town prospect Declan Sorrell has revealed how participating in international tug-of-war competitions has helped him adjust to the physical demands of men’s football.

The 17-year-old got involved in the extreme sport through his grandfather, who manages the England national tug-of-war team, and reminisced on his achievements from the past.

He said: “Two years ago or even last year, we pulled in the UK’s [tournament], obviously some of the men’s teams have been going for 10 years and have never won nothing, but I’ve gone for my second year and picked up two golds and a bronze [medal] so I’m really happy about that.

“I’ve been to Wales, Scotland and Holland, doing competitions and stuff like that.”

The striker believes that competing in tug-of-war has helped him develop his physical presence on the pitch when playing football, after explaining how his style of play is that of a target man and how he likes to “hold the ball up and bring others into play”.

Sorrell has had a fine start to the season for Matlock Town under-18s so far, scoring six goals in the side’s opening three fixtures, as they have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the new campaign, and currently sit top of the league on maximum points.

The youngster is hoping to continue this prolific form and has set his sights on a potential call-up to the first-team later on in the season, but insists his main focus is on being successful in the under-18s and the reserves.

He said: “I’m obviously trying to do really well in the reserves so hopefully I’ll get picked up by the first team. I’m trying my best so hopefully that chance will come soon.”

And added: “Obviously I want to be in the first team, and get to semi-pro, but becoming a professional, well, it is what it is.”