‘I hope you bring it home…’
These were the words from HRH Prince William to team England ahead of their participation at the Street Child World Cup 2022 in Qatar next week.
Team England, represented by Everton in the Community, were invited to St Georges Park, home of the England teams and England Football Learning, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the centre opening.
The boys spent the morning training on one of the outdoor pitches with a Football Association Coach, learning tactics and performing drills for the 7-aside game. Prince William was welcome to the pitch by SCU Young Leader Sam Richards who talked through her experience of representing team England at the Street Child Cup 2018 in Moscow. He joined the players in a huddle to discuss their preparation and expectation for the tournament ahead.
The players, aged 14-16, are all part of Everton In the Community, one of the UKs top sporting charities. They have been chosen to represent young people in the Liverpool community who face significant hardships due to poverty, risk of criminal exploitation and exclusion from school. The trip to Qatar will be the majority of the players’ first experience abroad, with six of the participants not having previously owned a passport.
After hearing more about their journeys Prince William encouraged them to ‘take everything in and enjoy the whole experience not just the football because it’s a really amazing opportunity.’
After the football the boys took a tour of the facility where they bumped into England manager Gareth Southgate!