Scottish Street Soccer World Champions look to retain trophy in Mexico City

Posted October 03, 2012

Scottish football in the doldrums? Think again!
Scotland are two time and current world champions in the Homeless World Cup and this month they head to Mexico and retain a trophy that our senior national squad can only dream about. 70 countries will take part in the 2012 competition in order to raise awareness of homelessness throughout the world. Through Edinburgh-based social outreach project Street Soccer Scotland, homeless and socially excluded individuals are able to participate in this international tournament and do their country proud. Street Soccer Scotland was founded by Glaswegian David Duke, who was once homeless himself and now campaigns to improve the lives of homeless people through football within communities. David assumed the role of manager last year for the Scottish Homeless World Cup team, and new manager ex-Rangers player Ally Dawson plans to lead them to victory in the upcoming 2012 tournament in Mexico City. “The guys have been working hard and training. It’s a big step going somewhere like Mexico, we’ve done well in Europe so far,” said David proudly. “They’re ready to go and do their country proud, they can give it their best shot and we will support them all the way.” Trials were held across Scotland in recent months, with the best homeless footballers from across the country selected for the squad. The Homeless World Cup doesn’t let the same players play more than one year at the tournament, giving other people an opportunity to make a difference and represent their country. “We believe the experience of the Homeless World Cup shouldn't just be of football, but a life- changing experience of next steps on to a positive destination,” said David. “Each year, a new player comes in and has the chance at a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Street Soccer Scotland runs programmes all year round and focuses on giving individuals skills that can be transferable from the pitch into other environments. The group build on people’s trust, communication skills and confidence in order to help them integrate back into society. The organisation promotes football as a method of helping vulnerable people overcome addictions and social barriers, providing them with a past time that will keep them busy and encourage them to change their lives for the better. When it comes to whether the Scotland squad can win the coveted trophy once again, David is hopeful, but aware that the country's previous success might go against the new team. “It’ll be tough – any team going over as champions, each team that plays you thinks ‘we’re playing against the champions.’ "There were some times last year the game could have gone either way. “They pulled through and worked hard as a team. If this year’s team can do the same, with a bit of luck they can go all the way.” The new squad are also banking on a win, but nervous of the competition. Mark Stack, captain of this year’s team, is getting ready to set off for Mexico – a country he has learned of only in documentaries - to guide the team to victory. “I think we can win, definitely,” said Mark, 35. “We’ve got some really good guys on the team, so I think our chances are good.” Mark, who is originally from Coatbridge, became homeless after developing a heroin dependency. While living on the streets, he used to sleep wherever he could lay his head down for the night, whether that was in a close, an alleyway or a skip. After a spell in a rehabilitation centre and working with Narcotics Anonymous, Mark found Street Soccer Scotland and began to turn his life around through football. “From what I was then to what I am now is like night and day. Everything about myself – my confidence, self esteem, being able to interact with people has improved. “Before, I was dead into myself. Now I’m comfortable with other people. It’s benefitted me immensely. “My family and friends are over the moon. Before it was just grief I was giving them, now it’s good news. They’re happy I’m happy and getting on with my life.” The Homeless World Cup tournament will kick-off on October 6, with the final being held on October 14.
Source STV & Street Soccer Scotland

You can follow Marc on Twitter @myscottishfitba
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dodgers not happy with Padres GM over Matt Kemp trade

Mario Balotelli banned match for offensive Instagram post

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo reportedly traded to Mavericks

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer on Tim Tebow: 'He wants another shot at playing'

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Harbaugh turned down Michigan money in 2011

Five reasons why Alabama will win College Football Playoff

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

Tom Brady's TD celebrations frighten teammates

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.