GOALKEEPER Matt Gwynne is vying for international recognition after being called up for England’s blind squad.

The 26-year-old, from Bromyard, is one of three keepers – the only position in the team that is permitted to be fully sighted – given the nod by boss Jon Pugh, a former colleague of Gwynne’s at Westfields.

It will involve going to England’s base at St George’s Park on Friday, February 8 for a three-day camp which finishes with a friendly on the Sunday.

And the opportunity, which is only open to semi-professional players, has whet Gwynne’s appetite with this year’s European Championships in Rome and the World Championship in Tokyo in 2020 on the horizon.

“When I signed for Westfields about seven years ago the keeper there at the time played for the blind team and has gone on to become manager,” said Gwynne who now plays for Worcester City.

“He has been on at me for ages about it but there will be three keepers including me.

“All of the outfield players are at least 50 per cent blind but all of the keepers are fully sighted.

“I went up a couple of weeks ago to get involved in training at The Royal National College for the Blind. It was to see what I thought and whether it was something I would want to do.

“It was really enjoyable and I was so impressed with how good the lads are.

“It is a completely different game. It takes place on a small-sided pitch and there is a bell in the ball.

“The close control is key for them, it was surprising how good they are and have to be.

“We will be staying up at St George’s Park which is great and there are a lot of opportunities coming up. They train there most of the time and play in the World and European Championships and Paralympics.

“I have had a look online and to experience this is something I would not have been able to otherwise. It is a great opportunity and there is the chance it might lead to other doors opening.”