The Street Football Association hosts England's largest ever street football festival
100 players from ten nations took part in The European Street Football Festival this week, all of whom had experience of homelessness or social exclusion.
Running between the 13 and 17 November, Street Football Team England were joined by the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Rep. of Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, N. Ireland, Norway and Sweden.
The week long festival culminated in a thrilling two-day international tournament at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse.
Portugal ran out winners of the men's category and England the women's, but winning on the pitch was a distant second to the event's top priority; having a long lasting positive effect on the lives of players who'd experienced homelessness and social exclusion.
Organised in line with The Street Football Association's unique approach, the whole week was designed to build players' confidence and included workshops to equip them with crucial life skills like leadership, teamwork and positivity.
The group took a VIP-tour of Old Trafford, trained at St. George's Park- England's best football facility - and had a styling session with Guerrilla Barbering followed by a ‘hero portrait’ photoshoot to encourages positive self-image.
Gareth Parker, Chair of The Street Football Association, said: 'I'm hugely proud of what our players have achieved in spite of the barriers presented by homelessness and social exclusion.
'There's a reason we call this a festival not a tournament. It's not about the matches, we want to empower players to positively transforming their lives.'