Minea Chan, the young magician with the infectious smile and skill with the ball at his feet, has lit up this year’s Homeless World Cup with his performances for Cambodia.
Chan’s participation in the tournament is cause for celebration among the Chan family, as he follows in the footsteps of his two older brothers by taking part here in Glasgow.
“I’m very proud to be here representing my country, and I’m really happy with how we have performed in the tournament. My two older brothers both played at the Homeless World Cup for Cambodia, so for me I really wanted to take part in it too.”
Coach Vibol Chao helped explain a little about Chan’s journey to Glasgow.
“Minea is from a small village in Cambodia, and through a local NGO joined our organisation, Happy Cambodia Football. He has been playing with us since 2010 and was always present at the training sessions—eventually making the team for this year.”
And for a man of small stature, Chan certainly has some big dreams for the proximate and long-term future.
“When I get back home I want to tell others about my own experience and hopefully encourage them to play football. Football makes me happy and I want to continue playing. I’d like to return to Cambodia and become a professional footballer.”
Words by Craig Williams - firstname.lastname@example.org