THE men’s and women’s squads chosen to represent host nation Wales in the Homeless World Cup Cardiff 2019 have been announced.

Sixteen players from across Wales were named today in Newport by Keri Harris, director of Street Football Wales.

Two players from Newport have been included in the women's squad. They are goalkeeper Jen Gattrell, 34, and 23-year-old Lauren Blud.


Ahead of the tournament, which takes place in Cardiff's Bute Park between Saturday, July 27, and Saturday, August 3, the Wales squads will undertake an intensive 10-week training schedule.

In addition, the players will spend time with Street Football Wales patron, actor and activist Michael Sheen, who led the bid to bring the Homeless World Cup to Wales and is taking a hands-on role in the organisation of the event.

The squads will then join up with more than 500 footballers from 51 nations to take part in the tournament, now in its seventeenth year.

Speaking about the squad selection, Mr Harris said: “When we heard the news that the Homeless World Cup 2019 was to be hosted in Wales, the entire Street Football Wales community blew up with excitement and, as a result, competition to be a part of this year’s squads was more fierce than ever before.

“Wednesday’s squad selection day in Newport gave me and my training staff a lot to think about but we’re confident that our sixteen selected squad members will do not only Street Football Wales and Wales, but more importantly themselves, proud."

South Wales Argus: Indian players celebrate at the 2015 Homeless World Cup in Amsterdam.Indian players celebrate at the 2015 Homeless World Cup in Amsterdam.

Mr Harris added: “Over the past 16 years Street Football Wales has had a huge impact on our players and we estimate that we have worked with over 8000 individuals in that time, with our biggest impacts being on physical and mental health, confidence and self-esteem, a reduction in substance misuse and people feeling less isolated.

“We really are a community here. We do not judge or stigmatise. We provide those who are experiencing homelessness and social exclusion with a support system and a sense of belonging that many do not, and may never have had.

“To see our teams play in front of a home crowd will be mind-blowing and I really hope that the brilliant Welsh public will come and watch and support these special individuals who are enduring great hardships, but nevertheless have found a home on the football pitch and will be pulling on their Welsh jerseys with immense pride ready to play for their country.”

South Wales Argus: Actor Michael Sheen helped bring the 2019 Homeless World Cup to Cardiff.Actor Michael Sheen helped bring the 2019 Homeless World Cup to Cardiff.