Northern Ireland Homeless World Cup team take on MLAs at Stormont
AS one Northern Ireland football team comes home after success on the international stage, another was getting ready to depart yesterday.
The Northern Ireland Ireland Homeless World Cup team enjoyed a formal send-off at Stormont with a game against MLAs, which saw GAA star turned SDLP politician Justin McNulty swap codes to line out for the assembly team.
More than 500 players from 52 countries will take part in men and women's four-a-side competitions in Glasgow's George Square from July 10-16.
Northern Ireland will face Holland, Nigeria, Italy and Romania in the group stages, with the Republic also featuring.
The north's team has emerged from the Street Soccer NI project, founded with the East Belfast Mission, which has received more than £70,000 from the Housing Executive.
Aidan Byrne, co-founder of Street Soccer NI, said it is "all about using the power of football to help people break out of homelessness".
"We have projects in Belfast and Derry and we are piloting one in Dungannon.
"Last year we had nine people in the squad including the volunteer coach. Five of them are now in full-time employment while seven have got their own homes."
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