Four participants from Preston North End Community and Education Trust’s walking football programme have been selected to represent one of England’s women’s walking football teams.
Nicola Rutherford, Louise Cafferky, Alison Hitchen and Anne-Marie Craven will be in the squad when England face Wales on Saturday 2nd November.
The quartet attended trials to get into the squad earlier this year and successfully made the cut. The ladies have all been regular attenders of the Trust’s walking football sessions, running three times a week at the club’s Community Training Centre at PlayFootball, Ingol.
Nicola said: “We went for some trials and never really expected anything – we just went for the love of football really and a weekend with friends. We got selected but never really expected it to happen, so it’s all great.”
Ann-Marie added: “A couple of us have played 11-a-side football together for a long time. It’s great that we can still be playing at this age, together for Preston and for England. I’m honoured, delighted and really excited.”
Louise said: “I think we’ll be a little bit nervous on the day but the build-up should be great. We’ve got a WhatsApp group going with the England team, so already you feel like you know some of the players, which is fantastic and I can’t wait.”
Alison will be the fourth lady from the Trust’s walking football sessions forming part of the England side.
The first of the Trust’s three weekly walking football sessions is on a Tuesday evening from 6.30pm until 7.30pm in the sports hall, meaning trainers should be worn, at the price of £3.
It’s women only on a Thursday night, with ladies of all ages welcome to attend, and trainers again the designated footwear. The session runs from 6.30pm until 7.30pm with admission just £2.
Finally, there is an extended two-hour session on a Friday, costing just £3, which includes one hour of play and another hour of social time, allowing those involved to cool down and catch up over a brew, with refreshments provided.
Everyone at the Trust wishes the ladies the best of luck with their international endeavours this weekend!