Sydney farewells the Street Socceroos

Macquarie Park is a long way from Milan, but that was the last stop for the Street Socceroos this week before they headed to Italy for the 2009 Homeless World Cup.


Macquarie Park is a long way from Milan, but that was the last stop for the Street Socceroos this week before they headed to Italy for the 2009 Homeless World Cup.

The Australian squad was farewelled by Sydney FC stars, Simon Colosimo and Terry McFlynn before flying out for the annual event, but while the Street Socceroos were thrilled to meet their heroes, they were the ones providing the inspiration.

“That just proves that football-s most definitely a world game and it-s a game for everybody,” said Sky Blue defender, Colosimo. “Some people have got disadvantages, some have got advantages. It sort of grounds, knowing that it-s not only the guys that get all the perks that love the game.”

Players were selected from hundreds of participants across the country, and selection in the Street Socceroo team was not just based on football skills alone, but also on each player-s discipline, dedication and commitment to making positive changes in their lives.

Coach George Halkias commended the Street Socceroos on their selection, with all of them having battled the odds and overcome many challenges to earn the opportunity to represent their country on the world stage.

“The Homeless World Cup provides a strong aspirational element to the Community Street Soccer Program and for these eight players today this truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Halkias.

“Around the country everyday I am inspired by seeing Street Soccer players develop from their first training session. The boost in their self-esteem and confidence is incremental with every session and amazingly it doesn-t take long to rub off on other aspects of their lives.

“This is a unique way of helping people who would otherwise be lost to the system and indeed to our community.”

The Homeless World Cup will be contested in Milan from September 6 - 13.