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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 July, 2005, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
HWC: Q&A with England's Gary Whiteside
The England team: back row: Paul Roznowski, Gary Lee Whiteside, Craig Phillips, Ben Colvin. Front row: Romeo Dechamp Gullain, Fernand Bass, Terry Barlow, Maybin Malawo. Photo by Jason Lock
The Homeless World Cup kicked off in Edinburgh on 18 July - and you can catch all the latest action from the tournament right here.

Four graduates from the BBC Tackling Skills project are reporting on all the games throughout the week-long tournament, which sees 32 countries and over 250 people taking part.

Here, England player Gary Whiteside answers questions from Adam Hassan.

What were your expectations of participating in the HWC?

When I first went to the trials, I didn't think I had a chance to make it past the first round. I was really surprised that I got through. Each trial got harder, and even when I got down to the final eight, reality still hadn't sunk in. When we all begain training together, that's when I realised this is really happening.

How does it feel to represent England?

It feel great to be a part of the squad, it's just a great achievement, I know my friends will be really pleased for me.

What have been the benefits of participating?

I've met quite a few new mates, especially Craig as he is from Manchester, which isn't very far from me. The experience of playing football has been great, we have an excellent coach, who was taught me things I never knew about football. I am now a better player and I'm very grateful for this.

What skills/qualities do you need to take part in the HWC?

Basically a good knowledge of football, and an understanding of the game. You have to be able to communicate and work with your team players in order to play well.

How does it feel when you're actually out on the pitch playing football?

When I hear that national anthem and hear the crowd cheer when I'm playing I feel the biggest buzz. I found the first game very nerve-racking, and felt we needed to settle down, which we did after the first game.

How do you feel about the controversial game with The Ukraine?

I feel we got cheated, as I scored three goals which was proven by the video footage, yet they altered the score incorrectly and it finshed 4-2 when it should be have 3-3. As that was the final score, they stuck by it and refused to give us a rematch.

Do you feel this affected your performance againt the Italians later on?

Yes, definitely. Our confidence was knocked which had an adverse impact on our performance. It was unfortunate that we lost this game as I feel we could have beat them.

What was your situation before you moved to the foyer?

I was actually in the Army for a year and a half and left for personal reasons. It was easier for me not to go back home, so I applied for the foyer where I had already had a friend and left after six months.

What do you want to do after the HWC?

I want to start living life, hopefully playing professional football, if not I'd like to get a job and get on with my life. I've realised I have a lot when compared to less fortunate people. I was speaking to two Brazilians and it made me realise what I do have, rather than what I don't.

Links to more Tackling Skills stories


Players gear up for Homeless World Cup
04 Jul 05 |  Tackling Skills

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