Out for a home win

TWO teenagers from the Salvation Army hostel in Huntingdon, are through to the final players bidding for places in the football Homeless World Cup. The tournament takes place in Cape Town in September. Tony Peacock and Adam Banda, who live at the Kings R

TWO teenagers from the Salvation Army hostel in Huntingdon, are through to the final players bidding for places in the football Homeless World Cup.

The tournament takes place in Cape Town in September.

Tony Peacock and Adam Banda, who live at the Kings Ripton Court hostel, were up against 180 other footballers in the last round.

This time they will be pitting their skills against 22, and hope to be among the lucky 16 who go to Cape Town.


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Tony, 18, who is in the second year of a sports course at Huntingdon Regional College said: "I was shocked when I found out I had got through to the finals.

"If I am chosen, it will just be an amazing experience as I've been playing football all my life."

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Tony, who plays for Huntingdon Town under 18s and Sapley Rovers, has been doing three hours of football practice a day to get ready for the finals in Manchester next Wednesday.

He said: "I thought the first trials were easy, but the second set were a lot harder.

"I really didn't think I would get through, and I've had to step up my training.

"Now I'm really excited, as if I get through it will be an unforgettable experience."

Tony has been living in Kings Ripton Court for a year since he returned from living with his mother in America.

He added: "I didn't like it in America so I decided to return to the UK.

"I am part of a resettlement scheme at Kings Ripton Court. I don't like the name The Homeless World Cup, as it implies that everyone who is playing in it is not as good as other people.

"But we are just as good, and some of us are even better.

"Everyone who takes part in it is being rehomed, fostered, or in a hostel like Adam and I."

Adam Banda, 19, who is in year 13 at Longsands College studying psychology, sociology and PE, is also looking forward to the finals.

"We are up against loads of really good players, which makes it a bit daunting, but also very exciting," he said.

"This competition so far has taught me to be confident in my own ability, and Tony and I must be good to have got this far."

Adam, who was born in Zambia and has been living in Huntingdon for two years, also plays for Huntingdon Town.

"I haven't been to Africa for about two years, so it will be like going home if I get through the finals and it will be an honour to play against other teams from around the world," he said.

Adam, whose idol is former Arsenal player Patrick Viera, has dreams of one day becoming a professional footballer.

He has had trials at Cheltenham, and is a huge Arsenal fan.

The Homeless World Cup is sponsored by the Big Life company, part of the Big Issue foundation.

It was held in Edinburgh last year, and this year's Cape Town event will run from September 23-30.

Homeless charities from 20 countries are expected to take part.

INFORMATION: To find out more about the Homeless World Cup visit www.streetsoccer.org

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