EVERY footballer dreams of World Cup glory with England.

But for Colchester’s Darren Mitchell, that goal is a genuine possibility as he tries to impress selectors and forge his way back into the national amputee team.

The 29-year-old has high hopes for an exciting year but has ground to make up after only just returning to football after a seven-year absence.

Mitchell is no stranger to international action, having represented the Three Lions at the 2007 Amputee World Championships, in Turkey, and also the 2011 World Cup, in Argentina.

However, he drifted away from the sport and has only just got back in action following encouragement from his wife and children.

“It’s been seven years so feels great to be back,” he said.

“There’s no better feeling than putting the ball in the back of the net and I’ve missed it.

“I’ve thought about making a comeback before but the time was never right.

“I’ve got a young family, had a foot injury which I was really worried about and also work long hours, so it was difficult.

“But everyone has been great and the people around me have encouraged me to do this.

“Laura, my wife, has been a huge support and she has been telling me to go for it.

“Although I live in Colchester, my nearest amputee team is based in Peterborough.

“In my first game for them I scored a goal and managed a couple of assists against Arsenal.

“It went well and my manager, who is the England amputee team’s goalkeeper, has encouraged me to get back involved with the England set-up.”

After his first Posh appearance, players were asked to put their name forward if they wanted to be considered for the national development side.

A squad was then picked for a training camp, taking place in Crewe last weekend, and the side have friendly fixtures coming up against Greece and Scotland.

England’s development team feeds into their main amputee side.

“I have to work on my fitness but the goal is definitely to try and gain a place in the main team,” said Mitchell, who grew up in Dovercourt and used to play for Ipswich Town’s Pan-Disability team.

“Things are moving in the right direction.

“When I was younger, I used to have to play on crutches because I didn’t have control of my right leg, due to muscle wastage.

“Now I’m able to get around without the crutches, so I’m more mobile.

“I hope to be in the 2019 senior team for next year’s tournaments, including the World Cup and European Championships.

“I have to do well for the development side and get into the main team first.

“However, I’ll certainly be giving my all and it’s exciting to have a goal.”

Mitchell had his right leg amputated in 2007.

“I noticed my foot was hurting and had a lump on it, which turned out to be bone,” he said.

“They operated but during my road to recovery the muscle in my calf wasted away.

“My ankle couldn’t take my weight and it hurt to walk every day, so I had to have a permanent cast on.

“They tried operating on it three times to make it stronger and did tests on my muscle to see what was wrong but they never found out and nothing helped.

“In the end, I lost feeling in my foot and requested an amputation as I was fed up of the pain and being on crutches.

“They said that would be best and amputated my leg when I was 19.”

Mitchell is looking to raise £1,200 to cover his training costs with England.

He is already a third of the way there and anyone interested in helping can visit www.gofundme.com/eafa-development-squad-funding