A WHEELCHAIR footballer who aspires to play for his country is attempting to crowdfund £7,000 to raise money for the power chair that will take his game to the next level.

Daniel Wheeler, 21, from Calne, has played for Swindon Rockets Power Chair Football Club since he was 13 years old, and recently received a call up to the regional select side, the South West All Stars.

He now has his eye on the next step: being recognised at the national level, and playing for England at a World Cup.

To get to that level, he has identified a need for a new wheelchair, to keep up with rapidly developing technology in the international sport of wheelchair football.

Daniel, who until recently worked in an administrative role, said: “It would be absolutely amazing to be up to speed with everybody else, and to impress as well – I aim to be a part of the World Cup.”

Speaking about his call up to the regional team, Daniel said: “I went for the trials, and they were quite impressed with my play. It felt amazing, to be part of the South West All Stars, it’s quite a selective team to get in to, so it felt quite special really.”

Daniel has the genetic condition neurofibromatosis, a condition where tumours grow on nerve endings, and the resulting surgery left him with limited mobility on the left-hand side.

He has thrown himself into wheelchair football in recent years, training twice weekly: once at Nova Hreod Academy with Swindon Rockets – who have finished top of their league in each of the last two seasons – and once in Cheltenham with the South West All Stars.

He also plays competitively with the Rockets in the regional league, in Taunton, six weekends a year. Another six weekends are spent with the All Stars at the national tournament in Nottingham.

He said: “It does me a lot of good, meeting lots of people and making loads of good friends.

“It’s about meeting people who understand my situation, what you’re going through, and we work together through those struggles.

“But is it very competitive – you still get the passion you get in the running game.”

Speaking about what the new wheelchair would mean to Daniel’s, his mother Kay said: “Dan funds every other aspect of his wheelchair football himself, but the £7,000 to buy a new chair is very difficult.

“Nearly everyone who plays at national level now is playing on one of the new chairs, and Dan can’t play on the same level as them, because his chair isn’t capable of doing what the other chairs are doing.”

To support Daniel in his bid to buy a new chair, visit: www.gofundme.com/help-dan-get-a-panther-powerchair