To represent one’s country is normally thought to be reserved for those at the top of the professional game. However, for Guiseley’s hotshot striker James Walshaw, this is exactly what he has achieved by being called up to represent the England C team.
Walshaw has been in prolific form this season notching up 15 goals and helping Guiseley to second in the table. He will now join up with the squad filled with semi professionals mostly from the Blue Square Premier on Monday before facing Belgium at Kenilworth Road on Wednesday. He was originally a back up for the squad but was called up after one of the squad turned professional and was therefore ineligible.
“I got told out of the blue really, a bloke called Mike Appleby rung from the F.A and he said I was in the standby squad for the England C team. Somebody had dropped out because they had turned professional, Alex Rodman from Tamworth, and Paul Fairclough wanted me to join up with the full squad.”
The former Ossett and Farsley striker will be one of two players who ply their trade in the Blue Square North. He believes it is partly down to his display in a Blue Square North representative game earlier in the season that earned him the call up.
“The first game was a representative squad for the people in the Blue Square North, the manager just wanted to have a look at us. Two of us have obviously impressed him and now we’re in the full squad.”
To wear the three lions is an honour at whatever level and that is certainly how Walshaw sees it and he says he intends to make his mark on the England C set up by proving his credentials on Wednesday night.
“I know it’s a bit of a cliché but it’s every boy’s dream. As a little lad you dream of playing for England, I know it’s not the full England squad but it’ll be a massive honour to pull on the shirt and run out with the England kit on. You’re playing for your country with a lot of people watching and you want to impress and prove yourself.”
Despite this development in his career, the confident front man is a little more reserved when it comes to his chances of getting a phone call from Mr Capello.
“It’d be nice but I don’t think I’m quite ready for that just yet.”