Albion in the Community coach at Homeless World Cup

Nathan Bowen will manage England (Photograph: Tom Irving)
Nathan Bowen will manage England (Photograph: Tom Irving)

A coach from Albion in the Community is England manager at the Homeless World Cup.

A football coach from Brighton and Hove Albion’s charity wing Albion in the Community (AITC) has been named manager of England’s team at this year’s Homeless World Cup.

Nathan Bowen is a health and development officer with the Seagulls’ award-winning AITC scheme and will coach the England team in Chile during the competition, which runs from Sunday until October 26.

Mr Bowen volunteered to take charge of the Three Lions - a team he has had plenty of experience with in the past.

He played and captained the England team in the 2007 version of the Homeless World Cup in Copenhagen after enduring his very own fight with homelessness.

Speaking before heading to Chile, Mr Bowen said: "To represent your country in anything is a really proud moment.

"AITC has been very good to me. I feel I've been very lucky, but it's also good to show the young people I regularly work with that if you work hard and 'stick with it', then you will get more opportunities."

The annually held football tournament allows teams of homeless people to compete, using football as a way to improve their lives, and the lives of others who struggle with homelessness.

A total of 63 teams from 49 nations, boasting more than 500 players will compete in the tournament, playing more than 350 matches.

Mr Bowen impressed the Homeless FA during a training centre held locally earlier this year and he was recently sent to South America to represent AITC at the international Global Youth Forum on Football for Social Change.

AITC also runs various projects and sessions aimed at giving homeless the opportunity to play football.

Michael Edwards, chief executive of AITC, was delighted to hear about Mr Bowen’s selection. He said: "Nathan's story is a shining example of the work that we do, so he is the ideal person to represent us in Chile and be part of this project.

"The fact that he has been chosen speaks volumes for what he has achieved and is also global recognition for the work of AITC."