Huntingdon man to represent England in Homeless World Cup

Josh Brinkman (left), with support worker Ray Palmer, Liam Napier, and Jordan Ingles at Kings Ripton Court, Huntingdon. Josh Brinkman (left), with support worker Ray Palmer, Liam Napier, and Jordan Ingles at Kings Ripton Court, Huntingdon.

Saturday, August 9, 2014
8:00 AM

Josh Brinkman, a former resident at the Salvation Army’s Kings Ripton Court hostel in Huntingdon, has been picked to play at the Homeless World Cup in Chile.

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The former Hinchingbrooke pupil and Rowdies player took part in football training with five other residents in the hope that they would be selected to represent England at the event, which takes place in October.

Residents all over the UK were invited to take part in the trials at one of 10 professional football clubs.

Those at King’s Ripton Court completed their training days at Norwich City Football Club alongside professional coaches at the top class facilities.

Football club staff and representatives selected 20 players from the training centres to go to Chile, including Josh, now living independently in St Ives.

Josh, 21, who took up residence at the hostel after he became homeless about 18 months ago, said: “The training was extremely intense, but it was brilliant to be selected. I start training in London at the beginning of September and then I will be off to Chile on October 16.”

Ray Palmer, support worker at the Huntingdon hostel, said: “The aim of the training is not only to enhance and assess football skills, it is also to promote personal development on and off the pitch. It will support players in increasing their self-confidence, self-esteem and offer help to improve stress management, teach leadership and other life skills.

“It has been a brilliant experience for all of them.”

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