A player from Sheffield Striders, a womens walking football team, has talked about the buzz she felt after recently being called up for England’s national side. 

Fiona Hall, 50, from Grenoside was called up for her country after successfully passing a trial earlier in the year.

Her and her teammates faced Wales, with it being the first fixture being played at that level.

“It’s not something you’re used to, everyone who was there was obviously buzzing and quite excited, so it was really good.

“We had a trial down in Essex and were notified of that through a competition we were playing in where we got to the final, so we got sent invitations for trials. A few of us went down and I was the lucky one.”

Unknown to some, walking football has a few differences compared to regular football as the teams play shorter halves and are banned from slide-tackling and running. 

Fiona, who also works as a sport development officer at Disability Sport Yorkshire, says she is looking forward to the progress that’s being made in the sport and hopes to receive another future call up. 

“There is also talk of doing the World Cup in Mallorca, with about eight or nine teams in the women’s division, so we’re just waiting for confirmation so hopefully I’ll be on a flight to Mallorca, and I could think of worse places to go.”

While she has played football in her youth, Fiona says she finds walking football much more comfortable.

She said: “It’s just too hard for me to run now with various injuries but it does take a bit of getting used to. 

“It’s surprising how much effort you have to put in.” 

Sheffield Striders play at Sheffield United’s Shirecliffe training facility every Wednesday from 9-10pm and are open to women of all ages and ability who wish to join their team.