The 2018 Homeless World Cup takes place in Mexico City from November 13th to 18th and like every tournament, Ireland will send a representative team.
Ahead of the tournament, I was joined on Team 33 by Sean Kavanagh who is editor of Ireland's Big Issue magazine and the founder of the Irish Street Leagues which provide an outlet for those in homelessness, suffering with addiction and other issues, running year-round tournaments around the country, with some of those participants then going on to represent Ireland in the World Cup.
Two people who went through that journey from homelessness to finding hope in the Street Leagues and then playing for Ireland at past World Cups are Tara McNeill and John Farrell.
They joined me in the Off The Ball studio for an in-depth chat about the World Cup, their own experiences when they were homeless and their involvement in the Street Leagues.
You can watch that in full above on the video player or listen back in full on the podcast player.
You can listen to the full interview with Sean, Tara and John and the studio chat on the podcast player or on iTunes:
Also on this week's show, Joe Coffey, Derek Ryan, Killian Woods, Conor Neville and Enda Coll joined to discuss the big talking points from the past week:
- The reaction to the James McClean and Nemanja Matic Poppy Issue
- The talk around the European Super League as a big club break-away is speculated on
- The merits of giving Wayne Rooney a final send-off cap like Ireland have done with the likes of Robbie Keane previously
But we also discussed an interview Enda recorded last Friday with a professional FIFA player:
So we also discussed the rise of E Sports, an industry that's becoming quite lucrative.
And in addition, here are a couple more of the interviews from my visit to Enfield for an Ireland Under-15 training camp (you can watch the full report on today's OTB AM) featuring FAI Head of Fitness Dan Horan and a couple of the parents:
Apart from Gary Neville and Arsenal Fan TV founder Robbie Lyle, recent interviews on Team 33 include former Man United cult hero Andrei Kanchelskis, former Ireland striker Niall Quinn, ex-England international Carlton Palmer, former Newcastle and Everton left back Alessandro Pistone, Chelsea legends Bobby Tambling and Paddy Mulligan, Dutch legend Johan Neeskens, ex-England striker Darius Vassell, Liverpool legend David Fairclough, former Ireland midfielder Mark Kinsella, USA captain Eric Lichaj and former Everton forward Tomasz Radzinski. Plus our in-depth chats with Tony Coton, Packie Bonner, Nobby Solano, Ron Atkinson and Alan Curbishley are still available on iTunes. You can find them all in one place by subscribing to Team 33 on iTunes.