Joining as a Street Soccer player in 2021, Team Scotland player Stephen can hardly believe he’ll be travelling to America to play for his country in July.
Stephen will be one of seven players that will be representing Team Scotland in the Homeless World Cup in Sacramento. He believes his own personal journey has came on leaps and bounds through the power of football.
“I started being a Street Soccer player at the beginning of 2021 after finding out about it through We Are With You in Bridgeton. It was brilliant and helped me right away mentally and emotionally.
The coaches and the players, I clicked with right away. Everyone has brought my confidence and the structure and routine has been massive. I try and get here every day because I know the impact it can have.”
After being officially announced as part of the squad, alongside his younger brother Kian, Stephen thinks that the tournament will be a special experience that will help break down the stigma of homelessness.
“I was star-struck when I found out about the opportunity to be part of the Team Scotland squad as this sort of stuff never happens to me. To pull on that shirt for the first time, wow, what a feeling.
Going in to the tournament, I just want to enjoy it as it happens. I am nervous but I know I will be settled once I get there. Having my brother there really helps and it’ll feel special to step on to the park together.
I think the whole idea of the Homeless World Cup is great and being able to meet new people from different cultures will be massive. The experience will help push me on, I’m hoping that I can be part of Street Soccer for a long time and I can keep developing.”
A regular at sessions in Glasgow, Stephen knows that Street Soccer sessions help with structure and routine, as well as having the opportunity to talk.
“I think having the chance to get on the pitch and you can switch off for a little bit, it’s so important. I feel free here and can talk to anyone. It’s a totally non-judgmental environment.
With Street Soccer sessions continuing to have a positive impact on the lives of many, players can come together to connect and enjoy the beautiful game. Find out how you can be part of it, online.