Street Soccer players are primed and ready to take on their UK counterparts in Edinburgh this weekend as the Homeless World Cup’s Four Nations Cup kicks off on the Mound, Princes Street.
Lead by a strong coaching team of Rab Hare, Chris Binnie, Hazel Gee and Laura Cooper, both the men’s and women’s squads have been finalised and are prepared for a weekend of football.
Training out of the Change Centre in Dundee, Team Scotland have been working hard in preparing for their first group games that will take place between 12pm and 1pm tomorrow afternoon.
The ladies will kick off against England, with the men beginning against Northern Ireland. Team Coach and former Homeless World Cup winning captain Rab Hare has named Jodie as the women’s captain and Thomas as the men’s captain for the tournament, both players showing tremendous leadership qualities across a number of training sessions.
They will be joined in the squad by Jordan, Sarah, Carol, Minh and Olatokunbo, who all play for Street Soccer in Edinburgh. A Glasgow contingent of Tracey, Stuart, Katelyn, Stuart and Colleen will travel to the capital for the weekend, as will Michael, Gordon and Vicky from Dundee. Dylan is our sole representative from Aberdeen. This weekend, like every other week as a Street Soccer player, they are all the same team.
Jordan, 22, spoke of his excitement ahead of the weekend, “I found out in August that I’d be playing for Team Scotland and I have got a little nervous as the weeks have went on but overall I am excited to experience everything over the weekend.”
Olatokunbo first found Street Soccer through the pastor at his church and the sessions quickly became a highlight of his week, “When you are playing football, nothing else matters. Everyone wants to have fun and I have made friends for life. I feel so lucky to be involved, it is a great honour to represent Team Scotland!”
Rab, who has experience of coaching at the Homeless World Cup before (as well as winning it!), said that he hopes the players have a life-changing experience like he did.
“They need to soak it all in. I think they’ll definitely learn a lot about themselves. New life skills and new friends. It is a great platform to go out and express themselves, so they just need to make sure they are living in the moment. Get along to watch if you can, it is going to be a really special weekend.”
The opening ceremony for the event will begin at 11:30am tomorrow, with the Mound Precinct all set to host Edinburgh’s first Four Nations Cup. Street Soccer will have a stall there too, so come along and say hello!