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
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk for 'bush league' play

Report: Eli Manning not concerned about contract

Several teams interested in Bucs' No. 1 overall pick?

Report: Marcus Smart overslept, could get less playing time

Report: Adam Wainwright likely done for the season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

DeMarco Murray: 'I'm not worried about the Cowboys'

Turner has great quote in defense of Bridgewater

Gary Bettman's quote about expansion makes no sense

Beltre sends Richards invoice for three broken bats

Herschel Walker: Vikings should trade Adrian Peterson

Report: Raiders fielding calls about fourth overall pick

WATCH: JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in face

WATCH: Kevin Love leaves Game 4 with shoulder injury

Joe Flacco content with current Ravens receivers

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

WATCH: Bucks mascot devours fan

Protestors tried to have Orioles-Red Sox game called off

Greg Hardy abandons his Bentley during flash flood

WATCH: LeBron James hits full-court shot after practice

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk

JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder

Report: Wainwright likely done for year

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Sanchez shares thoughts on Tebow

Stephen A. Smith blasts Tom Brady

Kris Humphries apologizes for Jenner tweet

Five most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Perception vs. reality

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

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.