One of our Walking Footballers Lawrie Coulthard has been successful in making the train on squad for the 70+ England Walking Football Team.Lawrie talks us through how this unique opportunity came to fruition.
In October 2019, Harrogate Town received an invitation from the England 70+ Walking Football Team Manager Danny Ward, seeking trialists for the national team.
I received this email from Iain Service (Community Development Manager) and thought why not, so applied for a trial.
In total, 78 players travelled to regional trials taking place in the South of England (Romford) and within the North (Sheffield).
With six squads of six players, totalling one hour of action, two Assessors were assigned to each match and scrutinised each team, presumably looking for; passing skills, work rate, positional play, attitude, commitment, stamina and teamwork.
I played up front, had one shot saved and provided an assist for ‘The White's' sole goal throughout the three matches.
I was reasonably pleased with my own performance and was delighted to be invited to play for the shadow team against the A Team.
Following this, a total of 18 players were invited to the practice session on 23rd October 2019. The game was played at Wyndley Leisure Centre in Sutton Coldfield.
This time I played in a holding role, managing to tightly mark their dangerman throughout the match, we were similarly assessed, with the Shadow team beating the A Team 1 - 0.
The following day I received a phone call from the England manager to say he was pleased with my performance and that I would be playing for the A Team against the new Shadow team to be held on Wednesday 4th December 2019.
Needless to say, I am immensely proud and delighted to have come this far and perhaps with more good performances could break into the side in a full international.
I have to say that the work that Harrogate Town Walking Football Club have put in to develop us ‘'old boys' has been instrumental in my own progress - In particular Ian Service and Glyn (our coach).
The quality of play has improved tremendously since the Walking Section was introduced in early this year.
I would also like to extend my thanks to Bernie Lyons who organises the Walking Football sessions on Thursdays, and from which the Town's own session was born.
If anyone wants to join our Walking Football team, either as a player or volunteer you are more than welcome.
We have teams at 50+ and 60+ as well as an up and coming social set up. Training sessions take place at the CNG Stadium on Monday's 3:30pm till 4:45pm start.
For more details please contact Iain Service on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone: 07465290222