The Homeless World Cup is taking place this November in Mexico! This is the 16th year of the competition that sees over 500 players from 47 countries take part in a week-long festival of football and we’re hoping that a few Coolmine clients will be on the team! As it stands, five Coolmine players are still in the running to play at the Homeless World Cup!
David Mannion, a Coolmine client with a passion for football, is one of the people responsible for the creation of ‘Coolmine F.C.’ and tells us about the team coming together “There are three of us – a voluntary worker, a client and a graduate of Coolmine and we decided to make a proper go of the Homeless World Cup this year. We’ve always taken part and the odd player from Coolmine has been selected for the Irish team. But we wanted to properly go for it this time around!”
David and the others set about recruiting fellow clients and organising weekly training sessions on Wednesdays and Saturdays. “It has really taken off. And it helps with recovery because, if the lads join the team and we keep getting through to new competitions then they’re more inclined to stay in the programme. And, as a team, they want to show up to practice so they don’t let the other players down.”
Incredible things have happened for the team already this year due to their dedication to training and team work “In the leagues that are put on to select players for the World Cup team, we’re always knocked out early. But not this year! At the last league match we made it through to the semi-finals, we beat teams with pros on them like Damien Duff! It was absolutely amazing.” Usually there is a limit of two to three players being selected to go through to the next round after the league matches but, incredibly, nine Coolmine players were selected.
“We had turned up with such low expectations,” David explains, “We had only ever played each other and suddenly we were facing fitter teams from Cork, Belfast, Galway and all parts of the country. But we had our strategy in pace – hold the other team out for a draw and then win in the penalties shoot outs! And it worked!”
The next round of qualifiers will be held in June so cross your fingers that Coolmine will be well represented at this year’s Homeless World Cup! Recently we were able to buy proper football boots for our players, all of whom had been playing in unsuitable trainers. If you are in a position to support our team and the rest of the Coolmine clients please click here to make a donation (no matter how small, it’s all hugely appreciated.)
For more information about the event click here. For more information about the work we do in Coolmine visit www.coolmine.ie.