Duo have chance of football world cup glory
Two homeless young men from Norwich
have moved one step closer to making the final squad for the England Homeless World Cup
Dinis Cassama, a former resident at YMCA Norwich and Lee Thompson, a resident at Bishopbridge House homeless hostel in Norwich have made the final 33-strong squad from which a group of 8-10 players will be selected to travel to Melbourne, Australia in December to represent their country and emulate Beckham, Owen and Rooney.
The duo won through the trials at Manchester United’s training complex on April 16, and have their next trial in May. Five other players from Norwich attended the trial but were not selected for the next squad.
Dinis, who was once a trainee with top Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon, said: “It is great, a fantastic opportunity. I feel really good about it and am very happy. It is something very special for me as I love to play football and have played it since I was a child. It is great news that I have a chance of making the England team.”
The two players are among around 100 other homeless young men who attend the 30-week Street Life Soccer course at Carrow Park, run by Norwich City Football Club and Football in the Community. Participants attend one hour of Team Talk, which is education based, and one hour of professional football coaching each week.
Street Life Soccer coach Jamie Nielsen, from Norwich City’s Football in the Community department, who travelled up with the players to Manchester, said: “All the players from Norwich worked hard and did really well at the trials. It is a marvelous opportunity for Dinis and Lee. Not many people get the chance to represent their country in a football world cup, and we just hope that they make it to the final 10.”
The Street Life Soccer Programme has been a massive success and can offer many different challenges and rewards for all types of people regardless of their social status such as vulnerable housed, ethnic minorities and unemployed.
To get involved in the project or for more information, please contact the Social Inclusion Development Officer on 01603 761122 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above are the seven Norwich trialists at Manchester United’s training ground, also Dinis (on left) doing some training at the Norwich YMCA.