'Homeless' Irish team set for Chile
By Ger Brady Dublin's Lord Mayor, Christy Burke, was the host on Thursday evening at the Mansion House as the Homeless Irish team were welcomed before the many dignitaries present as their preparations for next months Homeless World Cup in Chile stepped up a gear. The Irish team will leave for South America on October the 13th to enjoy some time in the country, before the serious business of competition begins on October 18th. This will be the 12th Homeless World Cup, with Ireland taking part in all of them dating back to 2003 when Austria hosted the event. On the evening itself, Lord Mayor Christy Bourke addressed the team. "I'm a great believer in sport, and everybody gets a reward from sport, and the reward is that you're here tonight as a part of a team." "To partake in any team you are a winner, that's my belief and I wish you well. It's an honour and a privilege to be here tonight with you all." The founder of the Irish street leagues, Sean Kavanagh, thanked all those who have supported the League and the Irish team going to the World Cup, and Leinster Football Association President Barney Blood, also spoke on the night saying how delighted his own league, the UCFL, are to financially support Sean and the league. Explained Sean Kavanagh: "The first world cup was held in Austria and we were there albeit with very little notice or preparation but we were anxious to get the lads involved and over the two weeks of the tournament we discovered that changes manifested within the lads, we found they became more confident, more out-going and showed more optimism about the future that hadn't been there before." "When we came home the positive feelings that were generated abroad at the world cup weren't there anymore. That was an eye opener for us." "We then felt that it wouldn't be fair to bring a team to a world cup and then drop them for the rest of the year so with that in mind we decided to start a street league program, something to get the lads involved in all year round, with the carrot being that they could be selected to represent Ireland in a world cup at the end of each year." The league has also their supporters, and although they would love a large benefactor to get involved to add more, peoples like LFA President Barney Blood's support are vital." Barney added, "It's my pleasure as president of the Leinster Football Association to be here this evening. I have been here for a number of years now and have been here before as chairman of the UCFL, who contribute each year to this great initiative. I would like to pay special tribute to Sean Kavanagh and Mick Pender (Team manager) who have put so much time and effort into this." – 30 September 2014 02:30 PM
Irish team look to South America as Lord Mayor Burke gives squad a 'send-off'
CAPTAIN NAMED: Irish Manager and Founder of the Street Leagues Sean Kavanagh with the Republic of Ireland captain Thomas O'Dwyer. who have been selected to lead the team for the forthcoming Homeless World Cup in Chile, South America.