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Foundation 92 and around 200 participants from Street Soccer Academies across the country competed to be crowned national champions in a tournament held at Leicester City Football Club’s training ground.

Foundation 92’s young adults had all recently completed the ten-week Street Soccer Academy personal development course, and had the opportunity to represent Foundation 92 and Salford City FC in the Street Soccer Academy National Cup competing against clubs from across the country..

A total of 18 teams took part in the five-a-side tournament, with some stunning goals, clever skills and well-rehearsed teamwork played out in matches across the three groups.

Teams making it through to the semi-finals were from Liverpool’s LFC Foundation, Pompey in the Community, and two teams from Everton in the Community.

The final was then played out between the two Everton teams, with Everton in the Community ‘A’ winning the match 3-0 against Everton in the Community ‘B’ to lift the trophy.

Everton in the Community’s Jos Emanuael won the Golden Boot scoring 11 goals; Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme took home the Fair Play Team Award; and Akram Alawad, also representing Everton in the Community, was named Player of the Tournament.

The event was a chance for the 18 to 30-year olds, who are homeless or deemed to be at risk of homelessness, to showcase the physical and mental skills they had developed on the course, which covered topics including positive mindset training, mental health, employability and football training during ten weekly sessions.

Spectators who attended to support the teams included colleagues from ICT companies that have sponsored Street Soccer Academies in their local area through ‘The Big Goal’, who cheered the teams on from the sidelines.

Keith Mabbutt, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Street Soccer Foundation, said: “This year’s national finals was the biggest yet since the inception of the Street Soccer Foundation and our sincere thanks go to Leicester City for their generous hosting of the event. 

“It was humbling to see so many young people interacting and encouraging each other, and, in instances, cheering other teams on too. 

“The commitment they’ve shown sees this as a wonderful reward for their achievement and I hope it can serve as a true platform to inspire as they look to now build out a more positive future for themselves.”

The teams that took part were representing Street Soccer Academies run in partnership with the Tigers Trust, West Ham United Foundation, Liverpool’s LFC Foundation, Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme, Everton in the Community, AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust, Wycombe Wanderers FC Foundation, Derby County Community Trust, Foundation of Light, Palace For Life Foundation, Foundation 92, Chelsea FC Foundation and Pompey in the Community.

To find out more about the Street Soccer Academy programme, visit: www.streetsoccerfoundation.org.uk and to learn about ‘The Big Goal’ and how your company can get involved to help change lives through football, visit: www.thebiggoal.co.uk