Two young Derry men are set to represent Northern Ireland at the 2015 Homeless World Cup.
The squad’s line-up for the ten day tournament in Amsterdam was announced at an event at the East Belfast earlier this week.
After two days of recent trials, the line-up selected are Ciaran Bradley and Brendan Beattie from Derry and six other young men from Belfast.
The NI team training kit, sponsored by the Housing Executive, was also unveiled at the event.
The eight young men in the NI squad have all experienced homelessness and were selected from five-a-side leagues, run weekly by the charity, Street Soccer NI.
Street Soccer NI works with homeless people and other marginalised groups in Belfast and Derry through the medium of football.
The team will join 55 countries to compete in the international football event, which has been running for the last 11 years The organisers expect over 200,000 spectators at the event.
Brendan Beattie from Derry, said: “It’s a new lease of life for me. I’m over the moon about getting the opportunity to play in the Homeless World Cup against teams from all over the world. I’m looking forward to experiencing other cultures. This is my highest achievement in football, I hope to do well out there.
Anne Sweeney, Assistant Director of the Housing Executive’s Supporting People programme, said:
“Initiatives such as the Street Soccer NI provide a productive channel for those in need of help and encouragement.
“The Housing Executive’s work is about much more than bricks and mortar and so we are delighted to support the 2015 team on its journey to the Homeless World Cup.
“We look forward to seeing their progress to Amsterdam this September.”