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“You’ll remember the relationships you build, for life” | Team England – Tyra Mills

Former Team England player Tyra Mills urges Street Soccer London players to grasp every opportunity when it comes to representing the Three Lions.

Team England’s first competition with Street Soccer as its official partner will be next month’s Four Nations Tournament, taking place in Edinburgh on September 18th and 19th.

A player at the 2018 Homeless World Cup and a coach the following year, Tyra highlights her fond memories with Team England’s women’s team.

“Before first playing for Team England, I didn’t know what to expect. I had no idea the Homeless World Cup was such a big event, but I am sort of glad in a way that I was unprepared for that because it allowed me to push myself out there and speak to new people and learn new things. That’s the full experience that I wanted.”

Tyra (second from left) and her England team mates in Mexico City (2018)

Tyra first heard about the event from a friend Sarah, who played for England in the 2017 Homeless World Cup in Oslo and knew there was something special about the tournament after quizzing her on her arrival back in the UK. Street Soccer’s Jack Badu was influential in Tyra’s selection, after visiting her community college to deliver a session at Arsenal’s Market Road football pitch in early 2017.

“Jack delivered a session for us and explained to the girls about the whole Team England project, it was there and then I decided I wanted to apply. After the application, I was training with the girls at Black Prince Trust Hub every Tuesday and I was picked for the squad for the Mexico tournament in 2018. It was an amazing experience. I am still so close to all the girls who went and it was just a brand new thing for us all, meeting new people from all these different teams. Despite the language barriers, it was just amazing.”

The cultural difference between players is something that players often mention when returning from the international event, however Tyra mentions that this is all part of the learning experience.

“The experience of playing with Team England has helped me come out my comfort zone. It was a real eye opener, learning about new cultures around the world. That’s something I hadn’t really thought about before. The language barriers couldn’t stop us!”

Tyra and Shakeelah with Street Soccer’s Jack Badu and Craig McManus

After a successful tournament in Mexico City with Team England, Tyra and her close friend ShakeelaH were identified as ideal candidates to lead the women’s side in Cardiff for the Homeless World Cup in 2019. Tyra believes the support of Street Soccer staff Jack and Craig McManus was key to her personal development in these events.

“Jack managed the Homeless World Cup’s women’s team and his support was outstanding. He helped a lot of us girls to ensure we gave 100%. Craig was always on hand to help us too and hearing his own journey and experience of the tournament really touched a lot of the girls and opened our eyes to see what the tournament can do for people. I feel like the Street Soccer guys give you a lot of preparation and support for events like these. Both mentally and physically. They’re a great support system.”

With Edinburgh just around the corner, Tyra has no doubts that players starting their Team England journey will have a special experience.

“To anyone playing with Street Soccer, don’t think twice about playing with Team England. You won’t regret it. The support you get from the likes of Jack and Craig is amazing. I would say to players to take every opportunity they can. Go and enjoy yourself because it’s the experience that counts. You’ll remember the relationships you build, for life.”

Learn more about Team England, here. More information on the Four Nations tournament will be released later this month.

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Team England

Four Nations Challenge Cup

Street Soccer London are delighted to be part of the Four Nations Challenge Cup, which will take place in Edinburgh over the weekend of the 18th and 19th September.

As official Team England partner, Street Soccer London will play teams from Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, travelling up with both a men’s and women’s team to the Scottish capital for the two-day event.

The venue will be an exciting city centre location which will be announced later in the month. With fixtures played across both days, we are looking forward to meeting new friends across the UK.

The Homeless World Cup Foundation (HWCF) has introduced this special two-day regional event between HWCF’s Street Football Partners from around the UK, including our partners at Street Soccer Scotland. We are delighted to be beginning the start of a new journey for our players.

The schedule will consist of a round-robin tournament, culminating with a final on the Sunday.

Photograph: Homeless World Cup

Craig McManus, Manager for Street Soccer London is delighted to launch the Team England journey in Edinburgh, he highlighted:

“We are excited about being part of this unique Four Nations Tournament. It offers our players a wonderful opportunity to connect and build new, positive and long lasting relationships with our friends, family and partners from across the UK. This is the start of something fresh and exciting for us all and we are eager to get on that pitch to represent Team England in such an amazing city!”

Mel Young, President and Founder of the Homeless World Cup Foundation, said:

“The Homeless World Cup Foundation is delighted to introduce this unique tournament for our Street Football Partners in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Four Nations Challenge Cup will use the same pitch layout and rules as our annual tournament and will allow players, who have been starved of competitive football the chance to be doing what they love and be out on the pitch again and representing their country.

“Since 2003 we have proved that using the power of football can change lives and though our partnerships across the world we want to include and support as many people as possible. With the past two annual tournaments being postponed due to the pandemic, we wanted to take the opportunity to create something for the players involved and we couldn’t think of a better location in Scotland’s capital city for this showcase event to take place. We hope that passers-by will drop by and watch some quality football, some fun exhibitions matches and enjoy the other entertainment we’ve got planned across the weekend.”