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News Team England

Street Soccer bring Nations Cup event to Dundee

Street Soccer Scotland will be hosting a small-sided international football tournament in Dundee, this September.

The event aims to provide an opportunity for players from Street Football projects across the globe to represent their country in our inaugural small-sided tournament. The event will aim to create life changing experiences for players, highlighting the power that sport has to influence positive change.

The Nations Cup will be held at City Square in Dundee City Centre across the weekend of Friday September 9th to Sunday 11th.

Supported by the Scottish Government and Dundee City Council, Street Soccer London are delighted to be involved in the event which aims to challenge public perception of some of the social issues that our players face and break down the stigma in order to provide better quality support.

As well as the tournament itself, the event will have live music and host a number of organisations working in social impact, to underline the power of community in the city.

David Duke, Founder and CEO of Street Soccer Scotland and Street Soccer London, said “We are delighted and also grateful that Dundee City will host our first ever Nations Cup as we invite our friends and colleagues from various projects around the world. The Street Soccer Nations Cup will more than a football event. It is an opportunity for players to represent their country and have a life changing experience. The matches will be exciting and we hope to create a real carnival atmosphere for spectators whilst highlighting the power of football.”

With invitational tournaments taking place across the globe from Street Football projects, Street Soccer Scotland will be hosting its first ever Nations Cup tournament, with eight participating nations across 16 teams.

Street Soccer Scotland will be joined by Street Soccer London’s Team England as well as guests from Wales and Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Ivory Coast. Street Soccer Scotland will also be including an Afghanistan team selected from its programmes.

The tournament will be played in a group stage format, with 8 male and 8 female teams. Played across three days of action on a four a side pitch, the tournament will split in to two separate knockout rounds after the group stage, with every match lasting 14 minutes.

Utilising Street Soccer’s multi-purpose community hub, Change Centre Dundee, as a player village throughout the event, Street Soccer will allow players to access further support and participate in educational experiences across the weekend, with catering and entertainment planned in too.

This event will be completely free to attend and is totally inclusive for guests of all ages. With two grand stands, food stalls and an entertainment stage, Street Soccer aims to create a memorable experience for everyone attending.

To find out more about the event, please visit streetsoccerscotland.org/ss-nations-cup

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News

Jack wins role model award

Street Soccer London were delighted to be part of the inaugural Level the Playing Field Awards at Decathlon on Saturday night, with Programme Co-ordinator, Jack Badu, picking up an award for his work across London.

Jack was named joint-winner of the Specialist Role/Role Model award, recognising his immense work with young players in our programmes. Jack has been a full-time member of staff since we started in 2020 and is central to all of our programme delivery at the Black Prince Trust hub in Lambeth.

A role model to many of our younger players, Jack primarily leads on sessions, delivery in local schools with Tender as well as leading. on the introduction of the ‘Boot Room’, which has allowed players to focus on personal development off-the-pitch. This has been a crucial progression of our work in Lambeth and hope this can be a tool that continues to support our players in the community.

Jack’s colleague Laura Foster, Head of Partnerships at SSL, joined him on Saturday evening and underlined the impact Jack has had on players across Street Soccer programmes.

“The unique way Jack coaches and facilitates has undoubtedly led to the success of this programme over the past three years. Anyone who works in the field knows how difficult it can be to deliver day in day out, sessions, spaces and opportunities which keep young people engaged and returning week after week. The reality of successfully creating this environment is much harder than it appears.

“Without inspiring male role models like Jack who strike the perfect balance between coach, confidante and role model, projects like this would not have the wide-reaching and long-term success that we are seeing for the young people who attend, even into their young adult lives.”

Jack is very much looking forward to the future, acknowledging that partnership work, such as that with Level the Playing Field, has helped elevate Street Soccer Programmes.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to work with the staff team here at Street Soccer London. Being considered a role model means a lot to me and I hope our young leaders do the same in the future. Working with LTPF has given us the opportunity to connect with great organisations across England. This helps us ensure we’re creating a positive environment for young people to grow.”

If you would like to learn more about what we do, you can get in touch with staff at info@streetsoccerlondon.org or find out more online.

Well done, Jack!

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News Team England

“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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Uncategorized

32 Boro Cup: Preview

Is it coming home? That’s the question on the lips on everyone’s lips as Street Soccer players enter the 32 Borough Cup this coming Sunday.

Representing Merton Borough, Street Soccer and FAST have selected an 18 man squad to participate in the tournament set up by Hackney Wick FC. In partnership with the Black Prince Trust, we have prepared the squad across numerous training sessions, following an extensive trial period.

Abukar, the goalkeeper for our squad, believes that the boys have a real chance of progressing in the tournament;

“We’re really excited for Sunday, this is the first time a lot of our guys have played together, so it will be a new experience but I feel like we’ve got a good chance to show what we’ve got. I think we’ve got a solid team, training has been going well and the boys are really happy with how things are shaping up.”

There are eight groups of four across the competition and Merton have been placed in Group D with Newham, Waltham Forest and Ealing. Games will be half an hour long, played at the Hackney Marshes. The knockouts will see the top two progress to a Championship route, with the bottom two proceeding to a conference competition.

The tournament was established by Hackney Wick FC, with the aim of engaging with the younger community both on and off the pitch to reduce violence around the city. With all 32 boroughs represented, this will be a great opportunity for the 16-18 year olds to showcase their skills at the event, which will be supported by BT Sport and Nike.

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Abukar highlighted the benefit of the Street Soccer sessions, which have grown since its inception in 2020. More players across the city are participating, with many unlucky not to be selected for the upcoming event;

“I’ve been going to Street Soccer sessions since September and I’ve seen it grow from 20 odd people up to almost 60 people who are really benefitting from the football on offer. It was really hard only picking a squad of 18!”

With England’s European Championship final against Italy later in the day, there is potential for double glory in London. Gareth Southgate’s men are competing in their first final since 1966 in the north of the city, Abukar spoke of the excitement among the squad;

“Depending on when we exit the tournament, a lot of the boys will be hyped for the build up to the Euros final, we’ve never seen England in a final before.”

A new squad and a new experience for the Street Soccer boys, asked if there was anyone to lookout for in particular, Abukar added;

“I wouldn’t say we have any standout players per se, we’ve been unlucky with a few injuries but we have talent all over the pitch. If I was to pick any I’d say look out for Callum and Abdi to cause some damage though!”