Homeless World Cup 2014 – Personal pride

Casey and Josh were picked as Captains for day one, not only leading Team England into their first games, but also leading them through the streets of Santiago for the opening parade. Here’s what they said about their first day:

casey sml

Casey

Today, unbeknown to myself, could have potentially been the proudest day of my life.

We were called into a team meeting to discuss the day and to delegate our Team Captains. Following my first day of wobbles and struggles settling in, I doubted I had any chance of being the person to not only captain my country, but also to lead England through the opening parade. Granted, I’d had a much more successful second day, which meant that in our Team meeting, I was shocked to hear I’d been selected for this honour.

The initial shock left me feeling completely overwhelmed at the trust all the coaches had given me and for that I am sincerely grateful.

I found everything extremely difficult to get my head around as I‘d already been riding an emotional roller coaster from the moment I arrived here in Santiago.

We set off, me wearing the Captain’s armband with great pride, to join the opening ceremony. This entailed marching through the streets of the city with our flag. Team England showing nothing but great representation for our country and quashing the ‘Brit abroad’ stereotype.

There was a feeling of euphoria as we all sang and chanted along with every other country. We made our way to the home of the Homeless World Cup and lined up to be introduced to the stage. Me and Josh had that privilege, but also the encouragement and support of our whole team, singing loud and proud from the stands.

Once the ceremony was over and each team had been introduced, it was time to prepare for our opening game against Wales. There was a buzz as apprehension turned to excitement.

England and Wales

Getting ready to enter the main pitch with a packed crowd was completely surreal, also with the knowledge our friends and family would be tuning in to watch online.

It was time to go. My heart was racing, but head held high. As it was our opening game, we lined up along side referees and the Welsh Team to sing our national anthem prior to kick off. We shook hands and were ready to go and play our hearts out after months of counting down the days to get to where we are today.

As a team, we played really well. I scored four goals, which wasn’t bad for my first striking role ever! Each and every one of the girls did themselves and their country proud by showing the grit and determination to get a winning result of 6-3!

After the full time whistle, the celebrations began and Coaches, Peer Mentors and the male squad took their time to congratulate us all.

To say today was phenomenal would be the biggest understatement and I’ve found it virtually impossible to cram it into words.

Great people, great team, great result and a great experience and I must thank everyone that has made it possible for me to stand where I am today and for the self gratification I now have.

josh landscape sml

Josh

So, today was the parade for the start of the Homeless World Cup. The sun was beaming and the day was perfect.

I was announced Captain and flag bearer. The atmosphere was amazing and everyone was so friendly. The emotions just rushed through me like euphoria.

Waving the England flag and bearing the captain’s arm band was a privilege and I felt honoured to represent my country.

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